As Talks Resume, Prosecutors to Ease - but Not Stop - Strike

Parties return to negotiating table after full month at odds.

Negotiations between striking prosecutors and the Finance Ministry are finally slated to resume tomorrow, for the first time since the strike began a month ago.

The parties reached an agreement to hold intensive talks over the next week thanks to intervention on the part of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who met yesterday with Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz and Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman. The latter two had both previously insisted that talks could only resume if the strike came to an end.

The agreement also states that if the negotiations do not bear fruit, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein will seriously consider arbitration. Histadrut labor federation chairman Ofer Eini will participate in the talks as well.

With negotiations set to resume, the prosecutors agreed yesterday to ease, though not stop, their strike.

But it remains unclear whether this will include appealing former minister Tzachi Hanegbi's acquittal on charges of making improper political appointments. (He was convicted of perjury in the same case. ) The deadline for filing that appeal is Thursday, and prosecutors have so far refused to make an exception to the strike to handle this case.

According to legal officials, Weinstein and State Prosecutor Moshe Lador may be forced to draft the appeal themselves.