A ministerial committee headed by Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon Sunday night approved the release of 26 Palestinians serving life sentences for murdering Israelis. This was the first batch of 104 long-term prisoners Israel agreed to free in order to facilitate Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’s entry into peace talks. Fourteen will be transferred to the Gaza Strip and 12 to the West Bank. The names, dates and victims of their crimes were published. Victims’ families petitioned the High Court against the releases but were overruled. Wednesday, Israel’s Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat meet in Jerusalem to begin talks.