RAMALLAH/GAZA, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday said that Palestinian prisoners, who were detained and sentenced before the signing of Oslo peace agreement in 1993, will be gradually released soon from Israeli prisons.
Abbas was speaking to reporters after putting a wreath of flowers on the tomb of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in the West Bank city of Ramallah on the occasion of Eidul Fitr, the feast of the Muslims all over the world observe at the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.
"By releasing those prisoners, their tragedy, which lasted for a long time, will end. We exerted a tremendous effort in order to achieve this goal," Abbas said, adding "the peace negotiations with Israel will be soon resumed and we are sticking to our principles, mainly Jerusalem, the capital of our state."
The Palestinians celebrate the Eidul Fitr holiday amid an internal division between the Gaza Strip that is ruled by Hamas movement since June 2007 and the West Bank ruled by the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), as well as amid unstable political and economical situation.
On July 28, the Israeli government headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to resume the peace talks with Palestinians and approved the gradual release of 104 Palestinian prisoners, who were detained and sentenced before Israel signed Oslo peace accords with the Palestinians.
Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, the chief Israeli negotiator, and chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat held their first meeting in Washington on July 29, and agreed on the outlines of resuming the direct peace talks halted in October 2010.
"We hope that by next Eidul Fitr, the hopes and aspirations for freedom and the establishment of our independent Palestinian state with holy Jerusalem as its capital will be achieved," Abbas said, stressing that "the stable legitimate Palestinian rights will never change."
Speaking about the internal Palestinian situation and the reconciliation with Hamas movement, Abbas stressed that the Palestinian leadership never forgets about the issues that are related to the high Palestinian interests, adding "even if we go to the talks, we never forget about ending our internal division."
"We are ready to implement what we had agreed upon with our brothers in Hamas, in Qatar, and in Cairo," Abbas said, adding " Well, let's go for elections and the ballots will be the judge. We are ready for this and we hope that all will be ready to end this disgrace."
In Gaza, Hamas premier and the deputy chief of the Islamic movement Ismail Haneya told the mass of the Eidul Fitr prayers in the city that his movement welcomes the release of any Palestinian prisoner imprisoned in Israel's jails, "but it should be unconditioned release without concessions."
"We never accept making any concession to our stable legitimate rights. We believe that the so called peace process is a dead process that lasted for 20 years and didn't achieve anything except more suffering for our people and more settlements and repression," said Haneya.
Speaking about Hamas relationship with ousted Islamic President Mohamed Morsi, Haneya said "we don't intervene into the internal affairs of Egypt or any other Arab country," calling on Egypt "not to help tightening the siege on our people and immediately reopen Rafah border crossing with Egypt."
BEIJING, July 30 (Xinhuanet) -- Families of long-held Palestinian prisoners have welcomed news of their impending release. The release of the prisoners was made possible by a decision by Israel’s Cabinet on Sunday to free 104 Palestinian prisoners in four stages, linked to progress in the peace talks. Amouneh Abd Rabo is the mother of Issa Abd Rabo. She can’t wait for the day her son is released.
Amouneh Abd Rabo, Mother of Palestinian Prisoner, said, "The day of his release will be the best day of my life, it will be a pleasure. For 29 years I’ve been waiting for the day that he will be released, to be able to hug him, to sit with him, sleep next to him and to eat with him." Full story
JERUSALEM, July 28 (Xinhua) -- The Israeli cabinet on Sunday voted in favor of releasing 104 Palestinian prisoners in order to boost prospects for the upcoming renewed peace talks with the Palestinians.
The Israeli cabinet voted in favor of establishing a team of ministers to overlook the identity of the Palestinians to be freed, with 13 ministers supporting the motion, seven against and two abstaining. Full story