A deal is emerging to extend the troubled Middle East peace negotiations, according to a source.

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Surveillance video frame of Pollard in the act of stealing classified documents

The agreement reportedly includes the release of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard in exchange for 400 Palestinian prisoners.

An official said the deal would extend the talks into 2015. He says it does not include a freeze on West Bank settlement construction but that Israel would show “great restraint”.

He said that under the deal, Pollard’s release would take place by the middle of April.

US secretary of state John Kerry has been involved in a flurry of diplomatic activity by American mediators, who have been holding urgent talks with the two sides in the hope of salvaging the troubled negotiations and getting them to extend the talks beyond a current late-April deadline.

The months-long negotiations hit a snag when a planned prisoner release did not take place as scheduled.