Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Israel releases 26 Palestinian prisoners and accelerates the colonization

A freed Palestinian prisoner arrives at the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip , on October 30.
Israel released in the night from Tuesday to Wednesday, October 30 , a new contingent of twenty-six Palestinian prisoners under the delicate peace negotiations taking place under the auspices of the United States. But the government of Binyamin Netanyahu , in parallel, decided to accelerate settlement in East Jerusalem , according to Israeli military radio.

A group of twenty -one prisoners left Ofer Israeli prison , near Jerusalem, before being greeted by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and their families at the headquarters of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah , West Bank. At the same time , five other prisoners were released to Gaza , amid scenes of joy . Abbas assured that there would be no peace agreement as a single Palestinian would still imprisoned in Israeli jails .

Nineteen of the released Palestinians belong to the nationalist Fatah party of President Abbas, four to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine ( left) and three Islamist movement Hamas. Except for one, all these former prisoners were sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Israelis , according to the Israeli Prison Service .

"Release the prisoners is one of the hardest things I 've had to make decisions. It is unfair because these terrorists are released before they have served their sentence. My heart is with the bereaved families ," said the first Monday Minister Benjamin Netanyahu , while announcing the releases had angered 2,000 Israelis came to demonstrate in front of the Ofer prison. Two days before the resumption of peace talks Israeli- Palestinian July 30 , Israel had agreed to release 104 Palestinian prisoners, many times, depending on the progress of negotiations.


The U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who has imposed a media blackout on the peace talks which he has brought the two sides in late July, said October 21 that negotiations intensified, alleging thirteen meetings. But a senior officer of the Organization for the Liberation of Palestine said on Tuesday that talks had " made ​​no tangible progress," regretting that " the current Israeli negotiating position is the worst in more than twenty years " .

Israel " wants to gain time to strengthen its settlement policy and impose a new reality on the ground . Such a position is likely to undermine the peace negotiations and destroy any possibility of a viable Palestinian state," the negotiator accused Yasser Abed Rabbo . Immediately after the release of prisoners , military radio announced that Israel would build 1,500 housing units in the neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo settlement in East Jerusalem .

According to the radio , this decision is not officially confirmed, was approved by the Prime Minister and the Minister of the Interior . They have also endorsed two other development projects in Israel in East Jerusalem : a tourist and archaeological site just outside the walls of the Old City and a national park on the slopes of Mount Scopus.

Palestinian leaders have vehemently denied having accepted the new housing construction in Jewish settlements in exchange for the release of prisoners , for , media , hard to coax the government majority . Palestinian negotiators argue that the continuation of settlement , condemned by the international community, which has already caused the disruption of previous talks in September 2010, " destroyed the peace process ."

Read also the investigation ( subscriber edition) : " Israel colonizes more the West Bank agriculture by building "