JERUSALEM (AFP) - The Israeli government on Sunday approved the contentious release of long-serving Palestinian and Israeli Arab prisoners, to coincide with the resumption of peace talks, public radio said.
It said that the 22-member cabinet approved Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's proposal by 13 votes to seven with two abstentions.
Netanyahu's office said in a statement that the cabinet approved peace talks with the Palestinians but without elaborating where or when.
The statement also did not announce that a prisoner release had been approved, only mentioning the formation of a committee on the issue.
"The government approved the opening of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians... and mandated a ministerial committee for the release of prisoners during the course of the talks," it said.
A Palestinian official said on Saturday that the US-brokered renewal of peace talks, stalled since September 2010, would open in Washington on Tuesday.