OK, here’s today’s geopolitical challenge: Go find one scrap of positive news out of the Middle East. Just one. Good luck.
But officials who have been briefed on the negotiations, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to do otherwise, said the prisoner release — and the larger agreement to resume talks — depends on a vote in the coming days by an Israeli leadership that has been bitterly divided over the issue.
In announcing Friday that Israelis and Palestinians had established “a basis” for resuming direct peace negotiations, Mr. Kerry included a caveat. “If everything goes as expected,” he said, chief negotiators for each side will convene in Washington “within a week or so.”
Ahmed Majdalani, a PLO executive committee member, told the Associated Press that Kerry has proposed holding talks for six to nine months focusing on the key issues of borders and security arrangements. He said Kerry would endorse the 1967 lines as the starting point of negotiations and assured the Palestinians that Israel would free some 350 prisoners gradually in the coming months.