JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israel has announced the names of 26 long-serving Palestinian prisoners it will release this week.
Israel released the list late Saturday. All were convicted in connection to the killing of Israelis.
The Israeli government said the crimes were committed prior to the beginning of the initial Israeli-Palestinians peace talks in 1993. All have served sentences of between 19 and 28 years.
Under heavy pressure from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, the sides resumed peace talks in July. As a precondition, the Palestinians were forced to drop a demand for a halt in settlement construction. In exchange, Israel agreed to release 104 of the longest-serving Palestinian prisoners it holds. This week's release will be the third of four planned phases.
Relatives of the victims have been protesting against the release.