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US: Third group of Palestinian prisoners to be released a day late
Published Friday 27/12/2013 (updated) 30/12/2013 10:32
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(MaanImages/file)
WASHINGTON (Ma'an) -- Israel has informed the United States that the third group of veteran Palestinian prisoners will be released a day later than originally promised.

Spokeswoman for the US Department of State Jen Psaki said in a statement, "Although we had expected the release to occur on December 29, we have been informed that technical issues made it necessary to do the release a day later."

The Undersecretary of the Palestinian Ministry of Prisoners Ziad Abu Ein told Ma'an that delaying the release one day will ruin the joy of prisoners and their families who await their release.

Abu Ein added that all the preparations to greet them were made for the 29th but will now have to be postponed to December 30.

The news comes a day after Israeli military radio announced that Israel planned to announce the construction of 1,400 new settlement homes in the occupied West Bank to coincide with the prisoner release.

Israel agreed to release 104 veteran Palestinian prisoners who have been in custody since before the 1993 Oslo Accords as part of a plan to resume peace negotiations after talks were halted for more than two years.

The release of two dozen Palestinian prisoners on December 29 is the third part of that four-stage deal, and Israel has already released 52 prisoners in two previous rounds.

The last batch are expected to be released in March 2014.

Direct negotiations began in July between Israel and the Palestinians in a US-led attempt to restart the deadlocked peace process. Israel has announced plans to build thousands of homes in illegal settlements across the West Bank over the course of the talks, inhibiting US efforts.

The Palestinian negotiating team resigned in protest against continued Israeli settlement construction in mid-November, dealing a major blow to negotiations between Israel and the PLO that had already been stalled.

Negotiator Mohammed Shtayyeh told AFP at the time that they resigned in response to "increasing settlement building (by Israel) and the absence of any hope of achieving results," following Netanyahu's announcement that Israel would build 20,000 new settlement homes in the West Bank.

The internationally recognized Palestinian territories of which the West Bank and East Jerusalem form a part have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.
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1 ) Julie / USA
28/12/2013 07:26
izrael has NEVER honored any agreement they've made, this delay was so predictable and expected. and of course, in addition to breaking the law to build more settlements, izrael will only kidnap and detain more innocent civilians than they release anyway.

2 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
28/12/2013 07:34
Says a lot about Palestinian culture. The release of convicted murderers will be delayed by a day, and that will ruin the Palestinian atmosphere. Does the world really need a new country with this attitude?

3 ) one more group / and Abu Mazen
28/12/2013 08:21
stops the talks and goes to UN stupid Jews and smart Arabs!!!

4 ) Mel's Mom / USA
28/12/2013 09:12
Can you get off this site, and clear up your chazzershtal (pig sty) room, and bring down those soiled blankets for washing? The United Nations requires seven million blankets for the Arab refugees displaced due to the Arabs killing each other in the civil war in Syria; please bring all those blankets down stairs. And then we will go to see that nice pro bono Jewish doctor, and find out why your gastric band has worn out.

5 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
28/12/2013 21:48
Julie is upset because Israel is only releasing convicted murderers. Maan readers should take note that the Palestinians didn't demand that Israel release women prisoners, nor prisoners 18 and under. The Palestinians only demanded that Israel specifically release only those Palestinians convicted of murdering Israelis - primarily Israeli civilians. That tells you a lot about the order of importance in Palestinian society. Julie has no problem with women coming last and murderers coming first.

6 ) Colin Wright / USA
28/12/2013 22:40
Word is the Obama administration has offered to free Jonathan Pollard if only Israel will for once keep its word. However, I suspect Israel realizes rubbing America's snout in just what the relationship between us and them is like that wouldn't be such a good idea. Pollard will remain in the prison cell he so richly deserves.

7 ) Colin Wright / USA
28/12/2013 22:44
To Brian Cohen #2: ' Does the world really need a new country with this attitude?' Given that we would be replacing Israel with it, it's hard to see how it wouldn't be an improvement. Palestine could literally have almost any attitude; it would be a change for the better. I mean, it's going to attack every single one of its neighbors, carry out murders around the globe, and build a huge nuclear arsenal? Lead the world in the illegal organ trade? How bad could it be?
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