US Secretary of State John Kerry was in a hurry to wind up his errand of salvaging the Israel-Palestinian talks. And so as soon as he landed in Israel Monday night, he was shuttling at speed between Jerusalem and Ramallah with a compromise document for Israeli and Palestinian leaders to sign. DEBKAfile: The paper provides for Israel to release 26 Palestinian prisoners within 48 hours, after overcoming its resistance to the inclusion of Israeli Arabs. This figure is to be expanded to a total of 420 who will be freed in stages. The Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is required for his part to consent to the extension of the negotiations deadline by another nine months up to December. During this period, he must guarantee not to apply unilaterally to UN institutions.
The details remain to be ironed out before Kerry flies back to Washington early Tuesday.