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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Bennett: No way we'll release another 400 'Palestinian' terrorists

On Saturday, a 'Palestinian official' claimed that Israel had offered to release an additional 400 terrorists, beyond the 26 who were to be released in the fourth tranche on Saturday night, in return for the 'Palestinians' continuing the 'talks' for an additional six months. Economics Minister and Jewish Home party leader Naftalin Bennett has said that such a release will never take place.
"As soon as Shabbat ended I started receiving hundreds of calls about the reported deal of releasing 400 prisoners in exchange for continued negotiations. Let me be clear: That will not happen," he wrote on his Facebook page.
Housing Minister Uri Ariel, also of the Jewish Home party, reacted to the report as well and said, “If this is true, I will recommend that we leave the coalition.”
The 'Palestinian official' apparently spoke with Israel Radio on Saturday. JPost adds:
US sources tell The Jerusalem Post they fear the consequences of Israel's failure to release the final group of prisoners, expressly calling the decision a violation of the original deal.
US special envoy to the Middle East peace process Martin Indyk is on the ground working to secure the release, Jen Psaki said in a statement on Saturday.
"On an agreement on the release of prisoners," Psaki said, "no deal has been arrived at and we continue to work intensively with both sides. Any claims to the contrary are inaccurate."
She said that, after meeting with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov in Paris over the Crimean crisis, US Secretary of State John Kerry may travel to the region to join Indyk in his efforts. 
Meanwhile, Israel said it  is willing to release a fourth batch of convicted Palestinian terrorists, but not if the Palestinians say that they will end the negotiations directly after the release, a highly-placed Israeli official said Saturday night.
The official, familiar with the negotiations, said “Israel wants to see the continuation of the peace talks with the Palestinians, and is willing to implement the fourth release of convicted terrorists. But the Palestinians are making that very difficult when they say that immediately following the release, they will end the talks.”
The fourth batch of terrorists is to include 'Israeli Arabs,' but such a release would require a new cabinet vote and it is not clear whether the release would pass. 

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