Israel delays release of Palestinian terrorist prisoners

A five-minister committee led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, pictured, did not meet in time to proceed with the fourth phase of the release of Palestinian terrorist prisoners. Credit: Cherie Cullen.

( Israel delayed the planned March 29 release of the fourth batch of 26 Palestinian terrorist prisoners it agreed to free in order to restart peace negotiations.

Under Israeli law, the names of the prisoners must be made public two business days before they are released, in order to allow for appeals to the Israeli High Court of Justice. A five-minister committee led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not convene in time for the March 29 release to proceed, and no future meeting date for the committee has been scheduled, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Israel has so far released 78 of the 104 terrorist prisoners scheduled to go free. Now, Israeli officials have become reluctant to release more prisoners if the Palestinians do not commit to extending the negotiations beyond their initial April 29 deadline for a resolution.

Posted on March 28, 2014 .