A report that Israel intends to begin releasing Palestinian prisoners, held since before the 1993 Olso Accords were signed, is “rubbish” according to a source inside the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netayahu.
Early Friday, the Palestinian outlet Quds Net News Agency reported that “123 detainees will be released on several phases starting this coming October and ending in June 2013″, and that the Israeli decision came after American and Russian pressure.
“It’s rubbish. It’s part of the Abbas image game, aimed to show that the Israeli prime minister is courting him, and begging to restart negotiations, and he’s [Abbas] resisting,” the source inside Netanyahu’s office said.
Abbas, who heads the Palestinian Authority, has stated that in order to resume peace negotiations with Israel, all prisoners held in Israeli prisons since before 1993 must be released, and Israeli construction in the West Bank must be halted. Israel has offered to restart negotiations with no preconditions, but the PA has rejected this offer.