Yet again, Israel releases prisoners as a "good-will" gesture. My question is: What has Israel ever received in return for these good-will gestures?
Israel will release 300 to 400 Palestinian prisoners before the Annapolis summit later this month as a good-will gesture to the Palestinian Authority and its chairman, Mahmoud Abbas.
But this number falls far short of the nearly 2,000 Abbas had requested from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. The list will not include prisoners who were involved in killing Israelis, described as having "blood on their hands."
The release of the prisoners will be the only good-will gesture before Annapolis. Defense Minister Ehud Barak and the security chiefs are adamant in their opposition to lifting any roadblocks or checkpoints along roadways in the West Bank, fearing that this would undermine security and make it easier for terrorists to strike.
The U.S. has made it clear to Israel that while it recognizes its security needs, if Israel cannot dismantle roadblocks and lift restrictions on Palestinian freedom of movement, it must at least try to improve the way Palestinians are treated at checkpoints and shorten the waiting time.