- India diplomat who touts women’s rights busted for $3 wage to nanny
- MSNBC host Ed Schultz paid $252K by unions in 2012-2013
- Korean War memorial ordered to take down Christian cross
- Billy Graham near death, ‘close to going home to be with the Lord’
- SeaTac, Wash.: City’s new $15 minimum wage heads to court
- Obama mulls support for Islamists in Syria, with conditions
- Obama ‘birther’ theories float, as Hawaii health director killed in crash
- U.S. drone faulted for killing 14 ‘innocent civilians’ at Yemen wedding
- GOP hopes taking shutdown off the table with budget deal will pay dividends
- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
Israel: Kerry efforts yield ‘hardcore’ Palestinian prisoner release
JERUSALEM — Israel will release some "hardcore" Palestinian prisoners as part of the new breakthrough by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in efforts to restart Mideast talks, a senior Israeli official said Saturday.
The remarks by Yuval Steinitz were the first Israeli comment detailing the terms for the negotiations since Kerry on Friday night announced that the two sides will meet soon in Washington to formalize an agreement on relaunching peace talks that collapsed in 2008.
Kerry's announcement came after last-minute meetings with Palestinian officials at the end of a day in which he shuttled between the Jordanian capital and the West Bank. In Amman, Kerry said Israel and the Palestinians had agreed on a basis for returning to negotiations, five years after talks broke down.
Steinitz's remarks on Saturday were all the more surprising because Kerry insisted that the agreement is still in the process of being formalized, "so we are absolutely not going to talk about any of the elements now."
Steinitz, Israel's intelligence and strategic affairs minister, told Israel Radio on Saturday that "there will be hardcore prisoners (released) ... those that have been sitting in jail for dozens of years."
In Israeli parlance, term "hardcore" refers to prisoners implicated in deadly attacks. Their release has been a long-standing Palestinian demand. Steinitz didn't say how many would be released, adding only that they would be freed in phases.
But, Steinitz said, other Palestinian demands will not be met, such as a freeze on settlement building and defining the 1967 lines as borders ahead of the negotiations.
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
- House budget bargain faces Senate filibuster; Republicans line up to oppose
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- Obama birther theories float, as Hawaii health director killed in crash
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- PRUDEN: The last living witnesses; they wore the yellow star and remember the Nazi terror
- Echoes of Cold War in Ukraine as Russia tries to rein in former Soviet satellites
- KEENE: James Clapper should resign for lying to Congress
- Kim Jong-un consolidating power or losing grip on North Korea's military
- Comma on!: Twitter erupts over Obama-Castro 'marriage'
- Broncos-Chargers game ends with several stabbings
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Consummate traveler Todd DeFeo explores the unique stories that make destinations worth going to.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow