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Palestinians oppose delay of releasing prisoners

English.news.cn   2013-12-09 19:53:18            

RAMALLAH, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- The Palestinian leadership stressed Monday that it will not accept any Israeli or U.S. attempt to delay the release of the third group of long-time prisoners.

"We won't accept the delay in releasing the prisoners," which was scheduled to take place by the end of this month, said Nabil Abu Rdineh, spokesperson for the Palestinian presidency.

His remarks followed Israeli media reports that Kerry wants to postpone the release of the third batch of 104 prisoners whom Israel has been holding for more than two decades.

"There will be no peace deal with Israel that doesn't include the prisoners, Jerusalem and all final-status issues," Abu Rdineh added.

When the negotiations resumed, the Palestinians agreed to halt joining UN and international agencies in exchange for the release of the 104 prisoners.

In August and October, Israel freed 52 of the 104 prisoners.

Ziad Abu Ein, Palestinian deputy minister of prisoners' affairs, said that Israel has not informed the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) officially that it has postponed the release of the detainees.

According to Israel's Maariv newspaper, Kerry pushes for halting the release of the Palestinian inmates for another month to press the Palestinians into accepting his ideas for a solution based on security arrangements.

Kerry raised the security arrangements in his last week's visit to the region, but several Palestinian officials rejected them because it prioritized Israel's viewpoints from a security perspective.

Qadoura Fares, the head of the Ramallah-based NGO Palestinian Prisoner's Club, said that playing with the schedules of the release of the prisoners "could undermine the entire peace process. "

"To make progress in the negotiations, the United States should put pressure on Israel to release big numbers of prisoners, such as 2,500 at once, not halting the release of the third group," Fares said. Israel holds about 4,700 Palestinian prisoners.

Editor: Shen Qing
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