US: Israel to delay Palestinian prisoner release

AP News
Posted: Dec 27, 2013 1:43 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Israel is telling the United States that it will release a third group of Palestinian prisoners on Monday, one day later than expected.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Friday that Israel told the U.S. technical issues made it necessary to wait a day to do the release, which Israel pledged to do when peace talks started last summer.

Israeli officials also plan to announce next week the construction of new Jewish settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem — a move that is expected to anger the Palestinians.

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has appealed to the U.S. to block the new settlements, warning the move could jeopardize the peace effort.

Psaki says the U.S. expects both parties to avoid provocative acts that could undermine the talks.