Israel

Following years of frozen peace talks, US Secretary of State John Kerry announced that Israel and the Palestinian Authority have agreed to resume discussions in order to establish the basis for final status negotiations and the eventual creation of a permanent peace between the two sides. As an immediate reaction, the State of Israel has agreed to release dozens of long-serving “heavyweight” Palestinian prisoners who have been held in Israeli jails for decades as a gesture of good faith ahead of the renewed talks. At the same time, a senior official with the Arab League has confirmed that the organization supports the resumption of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, and offered to form a political support network to aid the Palestinian side in its negotiations with Israel. (July 19, 2013 BBC News; July 20, 2013 The Guardian; July 21, 2013 Al Bawaba)