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Release of prisoners by Israel is a national achievement that strengthens the peace process

In August 2013, Israel agreed to release 104 Palestinian prisoners in stages, which was the PA's precondition for renewing negotiations. PA TV program Topic of the Day discusses the second group of prisoners to be released by Israel, all 26 of whom were serving life sentences for murder:
Minister of Prisoners’ Affairs Issa Karake: “I hope this phase will be a quality phase and that it will indeed take place, because I’m still worried. I don’t trust the Israelis. Everyday there’s incitement against the releases, everyday there are despicable racist voices. I hope it will take place, and that the remaining phases will be completed, because I think this is a great achievement, a national achievement and an achievement for the Palestinian leadership and for President Mahmoud Abbas. Furthermore, he shattered all of the terminology and criteria [for who should be released] used by Israel, who, from the occupation’s beginning, used the term ‘blood on their hands,’ and handed down life sentences to these fighters who are in prison. This gives the Palestinian people hope, and it also sends a message to the international community, to the Israelis and the Americans – that the detainees’ freedom enhances and strengthens the peace process, if they truly want a true and genuine peace with our Palestinian people.”