News / Middle East

Israel Frees Prisoners Before Peace Talks

Israeli police stand guard while Israeli Prisons Authority vans pass carrying Palestinian prisoners to Gaza through the Erez border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Southern Israel, Aug. 13, 2013.
Israeli police stand guard while Israeli Prisons Authority vans pass carrying Palestinian prisoners to Gaza through the Erez border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Southern Israel, Aug. 13, 2013.
VOA News
Israel has freed 26 long-held Palestinian prisoners as a gesture, hours before peace talks resume.

The prisoners were loaded onto buses late Tuesday and brought home to the West Bank and Gaza.  Jubilant relatives and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas hailed them as heroes.

Palestinian protesters threw rocks at the border prison where the inmates were held.  Israeli police responded with stun grenades and tear gas.  There is no word on injuries.

Many of the Palestinians were jailed in the 1980s and 90s for killing Israelis and suspected Palestinian collaborators.

Families of some of the victims failed to convince the Israeli Supreme Court to stop the release.  They say freeing them is a reward for terrorism.

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators meet in Jerusalem Wednesday to resume peace talks that began last month in Washington after a three-year lull.

The Israeli government agreed to free a total of 104 Palestinian prisoners in stages, depending on the progress of the talks.

Also Tuesday, Israel announced it is moving forward with plans to build 900 new apartments in the Gilo neighborhood in East Jerusalem.  This comes days after the government gave final approval for 1,200 new homes in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

The Palestinians want these areas for a future state.  They accuse the Israelis of trying to undermine the peace talks

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says the United States regards all Israeli settlements as illegitimate, but urges the Palestinians "not to react adversely" to the latest announcements.

An Israeli government spokesman says the new homes will be in areas that Israel likely will keep in any peace deal.

You May Like

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid