Yaakov Peri 370.
(photo credit: Knesset)
There has been a slight increase in violence in the West Bank, however it does not equate a third intifada, Science, Technology and Space Minister Ya'akov Peri said Monday.
When there are signs of progress in the peace process, there are always groups who try to sabotage it, the Yesh Atid minister told Israel Radio in an interview.
Ahead of next week's expected third release of Palestinian prisoners as a gesture for resuming peace talks, Peri said that there was a cautious optimism surrounding the current negotiations
between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
He added that the coming two months will be "critical" to the process.
Seen as a vital confidence-building measure, Israel has so far freed about half the 104 prisoners it had pledged to let out of its jails under a deal secured by Washington in July.
During a recent visit to the region, US Secretary of State John Kerry said the third tranche would go ahead on December 29 and said the two camps remained committed to the talks and were on track to culminate by at the end of a nine-month period that ends on April 29.
However, chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat told the pan-Arab newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi on Sunday that the two sides were no longer meeting directly and were instead talking through American mediation.
Last month Kerry warned of a new intifada
and international isolation of Israel in the event that the ongoing talks break down.Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.