World Bulletin/News Desk
The Palestine Liberation Organization will convene Monday to discuss the delay of Israel's planned release of Palestinian prisoners in accordance with a previous deal between the two sides, a PLO official said.
The meeting, scheduled for Monday evening, will be headed by President Mahmoud Abbas, organization leader Wassel Abu Youssef told Anadolu Agency on Sunday.
"The Palestinian leadership will study all options," said Abu Youssef, accusing Israel of stalling the release of the fourth of Palestinian prisoners, originally scheduled for Saturday, to pressure the Palestinians to extend peace talks due to end by April 29.
Youssef asserted that the Palestinian Authority is in close contact with the United States to pressure Israel for the release of the 26 prisoners – some of which are Arab Israelis.
Under a US-brokered deal, Israel promised to release 104 prisoners held in Israeli jails before the 1993 Oslo peace accords. In return for the release of the prisoners, the Palestinians promised not to push for statehood at the United Nations.
Israel had already freed 78 prisoners on three phases. The 4th group of prisoners was due to be released on Saturday, but it did not happen.
Israel Radio had quoted a senior Israeli official that the self-proclaimed Jewish state could reconsider the promised release of the 4th and final group of Palestinian prisoners if ongoing peace talks failed to bear fruit.
"Israel had continued to commit crimes such as erecting settlements and violating Al-Aqsa Mosque complex since the resumption of the negotiations," Abu Youssef said.
He went on to say that the Palestinian Authority will not accept new pre-conditions to the peace talks such as extending the April 29 deadline for the talks or recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
U.S.-brokered talks between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators resumed in Washington last summer after a nearly three-year pause.
During a visit to the region in January, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry presented both sides with a proposed framework for an eventual deal that addresses so-called "final-status" issues – namely, borders, security, the fate of Palestinian refugees and the status of Al-Quds (occupied East Jerusalem).
Last Mod: 30 Mart 2014, 16:28