Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Many have alleged that the release of prisoners in Israeli jails is not mentioned in the Road Map to peace. It, in fact, is mentioned. The outline of the roadmap mentions several things. The implementation of the Tenet Plan and the Mitchell Report:

In Phase I, the Palestinians immediately undertake an unconditional cessation of violence according to the steps outlined below; such action should be accompanied by supportive measures undertaken by Israel. Palestinians and Israelis resume security cooperation based on the Tenet work plan to end violence, terrorism, and incitement through restructured and effective Palestinian security services. Palestinians undertake comprehensive political reform in preparation for statehood, including drafting a Palestinian constitution, and free, fair and open elections upon the basis of those measures. Israel takes all necessary steps to help normalize Palestinian life. Israel withdraws from Palestinian areas occupied from September 28, 2000 and the two sides restore the status quo that existed at that time, as security performance and cooperation progress. Israel also freezes all settlement activity, consistent with the Mitchell report.
And both the Tenet plan and the Mitchell report talk about the release of prisoners. The Tenet Plan:
Israel will release all Palestinians arrested in security sweeps who have no association with terrorist activities.
And the Mitchell Report:
The PLO also claims that the GOI has failed to comply with other commitments, such as the further withdrawal from the West Bank and the release of Palestinian prisoners.
The release of prisoners is not a good-will sign, but it's a requirement of the roadmap.


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