JERUSALEM – An official says Israel's Cabinet has approved the release of 104 long-held Palestinian prisoners, clearing a hurdle toward a possible resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks after five years of paralysis.
Sunday's 13-7 vote with two abstentions came after a stormy session. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged ministers to approve the release, saying it's important for Israel to restart talks with the Palestinians.
Two ministers of Netanyahu's Likud Party voted no, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief reporters.
The Cabinet approved the release in four stages over several months, with each step linked to progress in the negotiations.
According to a list provided by the Palestinians, the prisoners have served between 19 and 30 years for involvement in deadly attacks on Israelis.