Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a statement to the media, in Jerusalem, on July 22, 2013
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a statement to the media, in Jerusalem, on July 22, 2013. He will seek cabinet approval on Sunday for a contentious release of 104 veteran Palestinian and Israeli-Arab prisoners, to coincide with the resumption of peace talks. © Baz Ratner - POOL/AFP/File
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a statement to the media, in Jerusalem, on July 22, 2013
AFP
Last updated: July 28, 2013

Israel cabinet votes on Palestinian prisoner release

The Israeli government on Sunday approved the contentious release of long-serving Palestinian and Israeli Arab prisoners, to coincide with the resumption of peace talks, public radio said.

It said that the 22-member cabinet approved Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's proposal by 13 votes to seven with two abstentions.

Netanyahu's office said in a statement that the cabinet approved peace talks with the Palestinians but without elaborating where or when.

The statement also did not announce that a prisoner release had been approved, only mentioning the formation of a committee on the issue.

"The government approved the opening of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians... and mandated a ministerial committee for the release of prisoners during the course of the talks," it said.

A Palestinian official told AFP on Saturday that the US-brokered renewal of peace talks, stalled since September 2010, would open in Washington on Tuesday.

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