RAMALLAH, March 31 (Xinhua) -- A high-ranking Palestinian delegation headed on Monday night to Jerusalem to meet with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry after a scheduled meeting with President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah was called off, a senior Palestinian official said.
The Palestinian delegation, including chief negotiator Saeb Erekat and head of the Palestinian security intelligence Majed Farraj, headed to Jerusalem to meet with Kerry after the latter held a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the official said on condition of anonymity.
Kerry arrived late on Monday afternoon for a quick visit to Israel to meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders to bridge the differences between the two sides on the release of Palestinian prisoners.
The official revealed that an aide to Kerry has earlier contacted President Abbas and told him that Israel wants the United States to free the American agent to Israel Jonathan Pollard for the release of the Palestinian prisoners.
Meanwhile, Abbas chaired a meeting on Monday night in Ramallah with his Fatah Party and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to debate the Palestinian stance after Israel delayed the prisoners' release.
Ghassan Shak'aa, a PLO executive committee member, said that the Palestinian leadership insists that Israel should be committed to the agreement of releasing 104 prisoners from its jails.
Israel in the last nine months had already freed 78 Palestinian prisoners from its jails and delayed the release of the last batch to pressure on the Palestinians to extend the peace talks until the end of the year.
Asked about the issue of releasing the agent Pollard in exchange for the release of Palestinian prisoners, Shak'aa said " this is not a Palestinian affair, it is the Israeli-American affairs and we are not part of it."