Asked to make concessions as a sign of goodwill when talks began nine months ago, Israel agreed, not without misgivings, to four releases of Palestinian terrorist prisoners, including multiple murderers. Three lots have already been released.
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas refused to recognise Israel as a Jewish state, insisted that millions of so-called Palestinian refugees be given the right to flood Israel, and refused to accept that a final-status peace agreement would mean an end to conflict with Israel. Palestinians continued to fire rockets into Israel during negotiations and the Palestinian leadership continued to encourage conflict.
Abbas broke a commitment to the peace process not to seek recognition outside a unilateral agreement during negotiations by issuing some 13 requests from the Palestinians to join international conventions and treaties. The Palestinian leadership indicated that it was only remaining at the negotiating table to secure the promised release of Palestinian prisoners.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided not to release the fourth lot of prisoners if there would be no benefit to the peace process. Israel is now being blamed for the failure of talks.
All is not over, however. DEBKAfile says Abbas approached the Israeli Prime Minister's office saying he was willing to resume negotiations. It says Israel will now release 420 imprisoned terrorists, including 14 Israeli Arabs.
Meanwhile, Israel has launched a new spy satellite into space to boost its intelligence capabilities in light of Iran's nuclear programme. The Ofek 10 satellite will also monitor Iran's military support for rebel groups in neighbouring countries.