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Abbas 'exerting all efforts' to negotiate prisoner release
Published Sunday 30/03/2014 (updated) 01/04/2014 11:34
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(MaanImages)
JERICHO (Ma'an) -- President Mahmoud Abbas has been exerting all efforts to negotiate the release of the fourth group of Palestinian veteran prisoners, a PLO official said Sunday.

Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat said in a statement that Israel "must release the fourth batch" of prisoners, held in Israeli jails since before the 1993 Oslo Accords.

The deal at the beginning of the negotiations was for Israel to release 104 veteran prisoners in exchange for the PLO's pledge not to attempt a statehood bid at the UN or other international bodies, Erekat reiterated.

He said the PLO was involved in "sensitive talks" with the US and the Israel, but that he could not reveal details to the media.

Israel was scheduled to release the final group of prisoners on Saturday, but did not.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that debate with the PLO over the prisoner release could go on for "a number of days," the Israeli newspaper Jerusalem Post reported on its website.

Netanyahu said at a meeting with members of his right-wing Likud party that prisoners would not be freed "without a clear benefit for Israel in return," the report said.

So far, 78 of a total of 104 veteran Palestinian prisoners have been freed in three separate tranches.

Continued 'Jewish state' impasse

Separately, on Saturday, the London-based Arabic-language newspaper al-Hayat quoted western diplomats as saying that US Secretary of State John Kerry was trying to overcome the impasse over the recognition of Israel as a "Jewish state."

According to the report, Kerry suggested changing the language to "the homeland of the Jewish people." In exchange, the Palestinians would have to agree to establish a capital in only a part of East Jerusalem, not all of it.

The report said the PLO had rejected the proposal.

The PLO recognized Israel's right to exist in 1988, but says that recognizing Israel as a "Jewish state" could jeopardize the right of return for Palestinian refugees and limit the rights of Palestinians living in Israel.

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 ) AKeenReader / UK
30/03/2014 12:02
Palestinains should not trust the US becuase they favour Israel. They must be pressurising Palestininans to accept their proposal by threatening them to withdraw aid. Whereas, on the otherhand they accept Israeli bullish behaviour because of the jewish lobby in the US.

2 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
30/03/2014 12:48
Palestinians already said they are quitting the talks, so there is no point in releasing convicted murderers. They can take their claims to the UN and the GA will recognize them, but the Security Council will veto them - so "Palestine" will be a failed state from the get-go. However, it will keep alive their pipedream of a single Palestine replacing Israel. Palestinians will be condemned to perpetual failure and poverty.

3 ) Bemused / New Zealand
30/03/2014 13:36
104 pre-Oslo prisoners were supposed to be released over 20 years ago - and also as a precondition in previous deal that - surprise surprise - Israel reneged on. Yes, since the Oslo agreement there have been more than 23,000 prisoners freed since 1993 - BUT during this same period, 80,000 Palestinians have been arrested. Who is Israel fooling?

4 ) Outlier / USA
30/03/2014 14:32
So far it has been all take and very little give on the part of the Palestinians in the talks. It is time for Abbas to step up and offer a quid pro quo that gives Israel confidence it has a true negotiating partner in the PA.

5 ) Lynx / Palestine
30/03/2014 15:36
Teehee...PA running helter skelter, left and right...It's that time of the year to renew the negotiations. "Merry" occupation everyone!

6 ) squatters continue to steal / USA
30/03/2014 17:13
and their word is always no good...a man is only as good as his word....the Zionist are not even men

7 ) Tibi / Tubas
30/03/2014 18:02
- Abbas is exerting all efforts, to negotiate prisoner release, EXCEPT RECOGNIZING ISRAEL, AS A JEWISH HOMELAND, just as - Abbas is exerting all efforts, to create a Palestinian state, EXCEPT SURRENDERING WHAT A PALESTINIAN STATE NEVER HAD (an East Jerusalem capital, 1967 lines, and refugee return), and - ISRAEL WILL ACCEPT NOTHING LESS, so Abbas will fail.

8 ) Both Views / No Compromise
30/03/2014 18:13
Palestinians say that "Israel Must Pay (Their) Price For Peace," - East Jerusalem, 1967 borders, and refugee return, just as Israel says that "Palestinians Must Pay The Price For Prisoner Release" - recognition of Israel as a Jewish homeland, and The Price For Creating A Palestinian State - Surrendering East Jerusalem, 1967 borders, and refugee return, and since NEITHER WILL COMPROMISE, * THERE WILL BE NO MORE PRISONERS RELEASED, * NO PEACE, AND * NO PALESTINIAN STATE CREATED.

9 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
30/03/2014 20:13
Bottom line: If Israel is not the homeland of the Jewish people, then Palestine is not the national homeland of the Palestinian people. Same conditions mean the Palestinians obviously originated somewhere else and belong somewhere else, so let them go back to where they came from (like Saeb Erekat who is from a Bedouin tribe from Saudi Arabia).

10 ) In return of W H A T??? / more empty
30/03/2014 20:31
talk?????

11 ) Plain & / Simple
30/03/2014 22:14
Trying "to overcome the impasse over the recognition of Israel as a "Jewish state" is Simply Impossible, so either: - Palestine recognizes The Jewish State of Israel, or - Palestine accepts that there will be No More Releases !!

12 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
31/03/2014 17:53
Excuse me, #6, but whose land are you squatting on? Cherokee? Sioux? Huron? Hopi? Is your word good? Or do you speak with forked tongue? Are you a real man living in your illegal settlement on stolen land? Do tell us, please.

13 ) Mel / USA
01/04/2014 00:29
Israel needs to go BACK to pre-67 borders(at least),abide by UNResols 242 184/9(Water/resource rights,E/J,RoR etc & adhere to INTERNATIONAL/GLOBAL LAWS,be held ACCOUNTABLE for its war crimes first & DECOM its nukes!When Israel moves back,takes its Jewish wall with it,rebuilds its exclusive Shtetl-State,declares official borders,it can call itself "Land of Israel with Ultra-apartheid nuts on".There's NOTHING more that peacefulPalestine(the giver)owes aggressor Israel(the taker).NOTHING!

14 ) Realities / UN & Israel
01/04/2014 01:06
** ABBAS' ALL IS AS NOTHING !! Shortly after talks collapse, Palestine will collapse, but Not before taking many UN committees down with it, for Every committee foolish enough to accept "Palestine" Will lose the major funding sources of the USA, Canada !!

15 ) Outlier / USA
02/04/2014 19:30
Based on his most recent actions regarding international organizations, his comment is laughable.
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