Palestinian Minister of Detainees, Issa Qaraqe’, stated Monday [October 21, 2013] that Israel will be releasing the second phase of Palestinian detainees on the agreed upon time, October 29. The release is part of an agreement to release all detainees held before 1993.Qaraqe’ added that the release is part of incentives to ensure the continuation of direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. The talks were resumed, away from the media, under direct American mediation.

Israel was supposed to release all detainees, held before the first Oslo Peace Agreement was signed in 1993, but failed to do so.

After direct peace talks were resumed, Israel released, on August 14, 26 veteran detainees, held before the first Oslo Agreement, and agreed to release the second phase on November 29, a third phase on December 29, and a fourth on March 28 2014.

This was part of an agreement, mediated by the United States, to ensure the resumption of peace talks that were halted for three years due to ongoing Israeli violations, including invasions, arrests, and ongoing settlement activities.

The agreement is meant to ensure the release of all 104 detainees held by Israeli since before 1993 on four stages.

“The Israelis told us they will conduct the second phase on October 29”, Qaraqe’ said, “But they did not give us any lists yet, they also refused to allow us to participate in naming the detainees to be released”.

Despite the resumption of talks, Israel soldiers continued their violations, invasions, arrests, and the demolition of Palestinian homes and property, leading to dozens of casualties, including several fatalities.

Furthermore, extremist Israeli settlers escalated their attacks against the Palestinians, their farmlands and orchards, their homes and property, and against Islamic and Christian holy sites, and graveyards.