Israel not to release final group of prisoners: Palestine
Israel will not release the final group of Palestinian prisoners who were expected to be freed Saturday, a Palestinian official said Friday.
The message was relayed to the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) by US special envoy Martin Indyk, the official told Xinhua.
He also said that the US has been pressurising the Israeli government to release the prisoners in order to avoid a possible collapse of the peace talks.
The Palestinian leadership would possibly hold a meeting to examine the Israeli decision, the official added.
As the Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations resumed in July last year, Israel agreed to release 104 Palestinians arrested before the two sides signed the Oslo peace accord in 1993.
During the nine-month talks, Israel released 78 prisoners in three groups of 26.
However, the two sides failed to agree on a peace agreement framework that the White House proposed after Israel insisted that the Palestinians recognise Israel as a Jewish state.
Israel said that it would not release the last group of 26 prisoners until the Palestinians accepted extension of peace talks which are set to end in April.
(Posted on 28-03-2014)