Israeli Cabinet Mulls Prisoner Release

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Two days before the fourth and final stage of the prisoner release is scheduled to take place, the Israeli government does not have the support of a majority of cabinet ministers.

Economy Minister Naftali Bennett told Israel Radio Thursday when the government approved the four-stage prisoner release, it expected the Palestinian Authority to participate in good faith to achieve a negotiated settlement, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Not only has that not happened, Bennett said, but Wednesday's announcement by P.A. leader Mahmoud Abbas that they would never recognize Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people means the two sides have virtually no chance of reaching a negotiated settlement.

Meanwhile, the P.A. submitted the names of 30 convicts, 14 of whom are Israeli Arabs, some serving life sentences for murder.  The P.A. says it will pull out of negotiations without their release. 

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