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PA rejects Israeli suggestion of prisoner release in exchange for abandoning UN move

February 17, 2014 at 11:18 pm

The Palestinian Authority has rejected a suggestion by Israel that 50 long-term prisoners could be released in exchange for abandoning the approach to the United Nations for membership. PLO Executive Committee member Hanna Amira said that the proposal from Benjamin Netanyahu is “nothing new” and has been “rejected by the leadership”.

There are 123 long-term Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, added Amira in a press statement, some of whom have spent more than 30 years behind bars. The Palestinian official believes that “Israel aims to cover up of its continued crimes in the Palestinian territories by this proposal.”

Maariv newspaper reported that the Israeli Prime Minister had decided to double the number of prisoners who could be released. It is, claims Maariv, a bargaining tool to try to persuade the President of the PA, Mahmoud Abbas, to hold a joint meeting with Israel to declare the resumption of peace negotiations.