Apr 08 2014
An April 29th deadline for Palestinians and Israelis to agree on a framework for peace talks is fast approaching. However, it looks increasing likely that one or both sides may withdraw even earlier.
US Secretary of State John Kerry, who has hoped to claim progress in resolving the conflict as a signature achievement of his tenure is struggling to remain optimistic. Kerry had negotiated the Israeli release of hundreds of long-term Palestinian prisoners as a condition for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to agree to talks.
While 3 batches have been already freed, Israel has now refused to hand over the last batch of 2 dozen or so, saying that Palestinians had reneged on their end of the deal by submitting 15 international applications for agreements related to statehood recognition by the United Nations.
Palestinian negotiators have accused Israel of reneging on its end of the deal by demanding an extension of the deadline in exchange for curbing illegal settlements in the West Bank.
GUEST: Diana Buttu, Palestinian-Canadian lawyer and former Palestinian negotiator