The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

By Batsheva Sobelman, Los Angeles Times

JERUSALEM–A delay in the release of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel is the latest disruption to the U.S.-brokered peace talks.

When the negotiations resumed in July, Israel agreed to release 104 long-serving Palestinians in four stages throughout the talks. In exchange, the Palestinians agreed to refrain from seeking UN actions backing their position for the duration of the negotiations.

Three groups of prisoners have been freed but Israel has yet to convene the relevant government committee to approve the final group slated for release at the end of March.

The nine months allotted by U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry for the current format for negotiations have yielded little agreement.

The reported U.S. plan to draft an agreed framework to continue the talks beyond the initial period have not succeeded. Alternative efforts to extend the talks past April are tangled in the prisoner release.

Israel will free no more prisoners without a Palestinian commitment to extend the talks. Until it becomes clear what Israel will get in return, “there will be no deal,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday. He also said any proposal for extending the talks would be subject to Cabinet approval.

Meanwhile, the Palestinians reportedly refuse to consider any proposals for extending the talks until Israel goes ahead with the promised release, although chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said in a statement Sunday that “sensitive talks” were ongoing with the U.S. and Israel in attempts to resolve the issue.

Over the weekend, Israeli media reported that an emerging deal for extending the talks involved the release of an additional 400 Palestinians imprisoned in Israel. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki denied on Saturday that any deal had been made.

Kerry has already interrupted a working trip to Europe once to fly to Jordan for a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, while U.S. officials continue efforts to salvage the talks.

Acroll via Flickr

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Sen. Ted Cruz

Youtube Screenshot

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) opted to appear at the National Rifle Association convention in Houston, Texas on Friday after multiple Republican lawmakers backed out of making public appearances in wake of the Uvalde school shooting.

Now, Cruz is facing deep scrutiny not only for attending the conference but also for his remarks praising firearms. During the convention, Cruz also offered a number of reasons he believes are to blame for the shooting other than guns.

Keep reading... Show less
Youtube Screenshot

A Georgia gun manufacturer is facing scrutiny for its disturbing ad shared just days prior to the mass school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

According to HuffPost, on May 16, Daniel Defense —a firearm company that manufactures AR-15-style semi-automatic rifles like the one Salvador Ramos, the 18-year-old shooter who fatally shot two teachers and 19 students— posted an image of a young child holding an assault rifle.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}