Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni has told Israeli Radio that she prefers a prisoner release deal rather than the possibility of resuming peace talks based on the June 1967 borders.
As far as she is concerned, releasing Palestinian prisoners is the "least worst" strategic option for Israel. The minister rejected the idea of releasing Jews imprisoned for killing Arabs to appease public objections to the release of Palestinians.
Livni noted that government approval of the new national preference maps and offer of merits for settlers outside the settlement blocs does not reflect the priorities of a true economic agenda. It is, she insisted, a reflection of a political agenda of some ministers within the government.
Israel will release 26 Palestinian prisoners in the middle of August as the first stage in the release of 104 as a good-will gesture towards the Palestinian Authority in return for a return to direct negotiations.