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Abbas agrees to extend peace talks 'under conditions'
Published Monday 24/03/2014 (updated) 31/03/2014 13:30
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A Palestinian youth holds his national flag as the sun sets during
clashes with Israeli security forces in the West Bank village of
Silwad, north of Ramallah, on January 24, 2014 following a
protest over the expansion of Israeli settlements
(AFP/File Abbas Momani)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- President Mahmoud Abbas has agreed to extend peace talks with Israel if certain conditions are met, a Palestinian official said Monday.

The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told Ma'an that during a recent meeting with US President Barack Obama Abbas agreed to extend peace negotiations if Israel pledged to freeze settlement construction and release more prisoners.

A good test to see if Israel is serious about making concessions, the official said, will be whether it releases the last of the four groups of prisoners it agreed to free before talks began in July.

So far, 78 of 104 Palestinian veteran prisoners have been freed in three groups, with the final 26 to be released on March 29. However, recent statements by Israeli officials have cast doubt on whether the prisoners would be released on time, if at all.

The official said that if Israel delayed the release of the last group of pre-Oslo prisoners, the Palestinian Authority would immediately take the case to international organizations.

Peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians were relaunched in July under the auspices of the US after nearly three years of impasse.

Israel's government has announced the construction of thousands of settler housing units and its army has killed 60 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza since the negotiations began.
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1 ) What a great leader / Abu Mazen is teaching
24/03/2014 19:23
the stupid Israelis a lesson in clever diplomacy GREAT LEADER!!!!

2 ) Three Israels / Three Truths
24/03/2014 19:44
- Israel should never have agreed to releasing murderers, and
after seeing that the PLO/PA gave essential no peace talks in return,
- Israel is probably through releasing murderers ever again, and
if that means that peace talks are done, so be it, for
- Israel has prospered for decades without peace, and it will continue
to do so, while "Palestine" remains an impoverished authority !!!

3 ) Tobias / USA
24/03/2014 19:50
Palestinians define their culture with stone throwing, mortar firing, rocket launching, bomb making, and abduction tunnel digging !! If "Palestine" doesn't start negotiating, compromising, and accepting reality, instead of your fantasies (above), then "Palestine" will end just like the proposed post-WW "Kurdistan", that was never created, and the DoDo Bird, that is now extinct !!

4 ) Tobias / USA
24/03/2014 20:59
- The state of Israel should stop seeking "to extend peace talks" (with or without "conditions"), since the PLO barely showed-up for talks at all,
during the initial 9 month period, and there is No reason to expect
any better attendance, much less substantial talks in later phases either, so
- Let the PLO make their futile UN appeals, and let the state of Israel retaliate with sanctions of their own, and later maybe the PLO will seek talks, without being pressured into them !!!

5 ) gabi / australia
25/03/2014 01:33
#2 "Israel has prospered for decades without peace, and it will continue to do so, while "Palestine" remains an impoverished authority !!!" True, but see what would happen if the US stopped its annual aid of $3.5 billion. Tobias, you are gloating again. Not a nice look . . . You could, if you wished to be a bit even-handed, look at the war crimes committed by Israel, and crimes against humanity, and breaches of International Law. And then read a bit about what occupied people do to occupiers.

6 ) Outlier / USA
25/03/2014 01:35
Preconditions! What a surprise! Don't be surprised if it doesn't fly this time. With rare exceptions, this PA approach has been a failed strategy.

7 ) Predictable / Result
25/03/2014 02:07
Israel should never release murderous Palestinian terrorists from the jails - terrorists should never see day light again. And let Abbas go to UN - we will see how far it can get him.

8 ) Mark / U.S.
25/03/2014 02:54
The one (secular and democratic) state solution in Palestine is the only viable solution. One man, one vote.

9 ) Todd / Canada
25/03/2014 07:50
I don't know much about what is going on over there, but I read this article, and it looks like classic "negotiations" talk. So it has really begun! The negotiations. I hope to see peace in the Middle East very soon :)

10 ) Brandy / Usa2
25/03/2014 19:46
#9: It would be nice Todd, peace for all. Lets hope so.

11 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
25/03/2014 21:53
Gabi - our GDP is on the order of $275 billion and growing every year. If the U.S. stopped its annual aid then lots of Americans would lose their jobs, that's all. Would it hurt us? Oy, maybe a teeny bit. O course, you are occupying Australia and the occupied people there are defeated and leaving you alone. Is that the lesson you want to tell us? Same with the American natives. You're telling us to use your Aussie model? One nation of colonists and give the natives rights after 300 years.

12 ) deb / UK
25/03/2014 21:59
@2 Your right Israel has prospered from the occupation that is why they don't want peace and the Palestinians have been impoverished by the occupation that is why they are desperate for peace.

13 ) No Talks, No Peace, And / No State
26/03/2014 02:29
Conditioning further Peace Talks upon future Prisoner Releases probably means that THERE WILL BE no peace and NO STATE, which is endurable for Israel for at least another 65 years, but may Not be endurable for Palestinians for even 65 weeks, with international donations increasingly dwindling away or gone already.
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