That Netanyahu agreed to release 104 Palestinian Arab prisoners was widely broadcast publicly -- starting with a letter to the Israeli public by the prime minister himself. Heartache and fury, but no secret here.
However, release of the prisoners was only one of the three major demands of Mahmoud Abbas -- the others being agreement to begin negotiations on the basis of the '67 lines, and freezing of building beyond the '67 line, i.e., in eastern Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria. And we have pretty solid information that building will be slowed, if not terminated all together. Actually, already has been slowed.
But what about beginning negotiations based on the '67 line? This is a question -- of more than a little significance -- that has consumed me and many others. Although definitive answers are next to impossible to come by.
Yesterday I spoke with several persons connected with relevant government agencies and drew a "no comment" about the basis for negotiations. Someone from the Foreign Ministry told me candidly, "We've put a fog out over everything." Indeed. He "explained" that "this increases the chances of success." I didn't tell him that I thought what this really does is increase the government's ability to prevent the electorate from finding out something that it doesn't want us to know. As well as stimulate the rumor mill.