Major protests among Palestinians and Israeli Arabs today centered around Israel’s government reneging on promised prisoner releases, warning they face a third intifada if the release doesn’t happen.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was defiant on the move, saying Israel wouldn’t release the detainees without it being clear Israel is going to get something in return.
Technically they already did. The prisoner release was agreed to a year ago at the start of the peace talks as a condition for those talks, and Israel later revised it to stagger them out throughout the year. This last round came so close to the end of the talks, which it is clear are going nowhere, that Netanyahu believed he could get more political advantage from just reneging on his deal.
The Palestinian Authority hasn’t been nearly as vocal as the protesters about the matter, saying they’re going to hold off on any retaliatory measures while they wait to see if the US manages to talk Israel into the releases. Such moves are likely to include seeking further UN recognition.
If and when that does happen, US officials warned Israel that they won’t be able to do anything to stop the UN statehood bid, especially if it comes because Israel overtly collapsed the talks by reneging on a promise.
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