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US says Israel plans to release Palestinian prisoners on Dec 30
WASHINGTON - Israel has informed the United States of plans to release the next group of Palestinian prisoners on December 30 under a US-brokered peace plan, the State Department said on Friday.

"Although we had expected the release to occur on December 29, we have been informed that technical issues made it necessary to do the release a day later," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.

The release of about two dozen prisoners, the third group to be free since the talks resumed in July, are seen by the United States as an important next-step toward reaching an interim peace agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians by April.

A final agreement will then take about a year to negotiate.
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