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Israel to release 80 Palestinian prisoner

Israel agreed to a long-standing Palestinian demand to release Palestinian prisoners in order to resume peace talks, Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz said on Saturday. "There will be some release of prisoners," Steinitz told Israel Radio. "I don't want to give numbers but there will be heavyweight prisoners who have been in jail for tens of years," he said. The release would be carried out in phases, he added. Palestinians have long demanded that Israel free prisoners who have been held in Israeli jails since before 1993, the year the two sides signed the Oslo Accords - a interim deal that was intended to lead to an independent state the Palestinians seek in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

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