Deal to Save Peace Talks Could Still Include Pollard

YERUSHALAYIM -

Despite the uproar of recent days, the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks have not broken up, and the possibility of a deal that would secure the release of Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard still exists, according to sources in Yerushalayim on Thursday.

Israel, they said, has presented the Palestinians with a new package aimed at extending peace talks, and the U.S. has not taken the possible release of Pollard off the table as a gesture to soften Israeli reluctance to release Palestinian prisoners.

A diplomatic source said that “if the Palestinian Authority agrees to stop its plans to join a number of international treaties and conventions, Israel will agree to a new prisoner release package in return for the continuation of negotiations until the end of the year at a minimum,” The Jerusalem Post reported.

According to the source, the Palestinians said they would consider the compromise offer made by Justice Minister Tzipi Livni.

The Prime Minister’s Office emphasized Thursday that “if the PA will not stop its unilateral joining of U.N. conventions, the prime minister’s decision is clear — unilateral steps will be answered by unilateral steps from our side. Some of our responses have already come and some are still being prepared and are awaiting approval from the political echelon in the event that they will be necessary.”