Israeli daily, Maariv, has reported that the Israeli cabinet will be holding a vote on a new law meant to prevent the government from releasing Palestinian political prisoners. The votes only comes a few days before Israel implements second phase of releasing detainees.The Jewish Home party, a fundamentalist coalition partner of the government of Benjamin Netanyahu, presented the proposal.
The timing comes just as Israel prepares to release some Palestinian detainees by the end of this meant as part of the efforts to “boost direct talks with the Palestinians”.
Jewish Party officials said the meeting between Israeli Chief Negotiator, Tzipi Livni, and her Palestinian counterpart, Dr. Saeb Erekat, as well as the rest of the negotiations teams, will not be able to achieve any progress.
It added that Netanyahu and his government will act on boosting and escalating settlement construction and expansion activities in the occupied West Bank, and occupied Jerusalem.
Leader of the Jewish Home Party, Naftali Bennett, criticized head of the Hatnuah Party, former Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, for what he called “supporting the release of Palestinian political prisoners”, and for heading the talks with the Palestinian side.
Bennett said he hopes Likud Party members, the party of Benjamin Netanyahu, would support him, and vote for the new law preventing the release of Palestinian detainees.
Meanwhile, Palestinian Minister of Detainees, Issa Qaraqe’, said that the second phase of detainees’ release would be conducted on October 29, while the third phase will be implemented on December 29, then March 28 2014.
He affirmed that the release of political prisoners does not depend on the progress of direct peace talks between Tel Aviv and Ramallah.
His statements contradict statements of Israeli officials who said the release of any detainee is dependent on the progress of direct talks, and the situation on the ground.