Palestinians say they are skeptical about an Israeli move to set free a number of Palestinian prisoners ahead of renewed negotiations between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israel, Press TV reports.
Israel says on Tuesday that it will release 26 out of 104 prisoners who have been decided to be released in four tranches over a period of nine months.
On July 28, Tel Aviv ratified the release of long-held Palestinian prisoners, after the 22-member Israeli cabinet approved the proposal by 13 votes to seven with two abstentions as a move toward the resumption of talks.
Nevertheless, Palestinians in the occupied West Bank are highly skeptical about the measure.
â€œI am skeptical of the current situations because a small number of Palestinians are being released but at the same time, over five to six thousand Palestinians are still in Israeli prisons,â€ a Palestinian said.
A Palestinian rights organization has also said this move is not in good faith by Israel. Addameer Prisoners Support and Human Rights Association stated that Tel Aviv is using the release of prisoners as a bargaining chip against the Palestinian Authority.
On Thursday, US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said talks between the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli regime would resume on August 14 in al-Quds (Jerusalem).
The representatives of Israel and the PA met last month in Washington. The meeting was the first direct negotiations in three years.
Last month, Hamas rejected the USâ€™ proposal for the resumption of talks, saying it â€œconsiders the Palestinian Authorityâ€™s return to negotiations with the occupation to be at odds with the national consensus.â€
The last Palestinian-Israeli talks were halted in September 2010 after Tel Aviv refused to freeze its settlement activities in the West Bank.
Palestinians are seeking to create an independent state on the territories of the West Bank, East al-Quds, and the Gaza Strip, and are demanding that Israel withdraw from the Palestinian territories occupied in the Six-Day War of 1967.
Tel Aviv, however, has refused to return to the 1967 borders and is unwilling to discuss the issue of al-Quds.