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Photo by: REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman
Abbas: No final agreement with Israel until all prisoners released
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH
31/12/2013
PA President Abbas vows to release all Palestinian prisoners; says no Palestinian state without Jordan Valley.
 
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas vowed on Tuesday that there would be no final agreement with Israel unless all Palestinian prisoners are released from Israeli jails.

Abbas, who was speaking during a reception for 26 Palestinian inmates who were freed by Israel late Monday night, said, “I promise you that there will be no final agreement unless all the prisoners are back home.”

He said that after the release of all 104 Palestinians imprisoned before the signing of the Oslo Accords 20 years ago, the PA would demand that sick inmates also be freed.

Hailing the released prisoners as “heroes,” Abbas said, “We promise you that this won’t be the last release and soon there will be another batch of heroes. Today is a day of jubilation for all our people and heroic prisoners.”

Referring to the recent Israeli ministerial committee to support a bill applying Israeli law to settlements in the Jordan Valley, Abbas said that the Palestinians wouldn’t allow this to happen. “This is our land and it will remain so,” he added. “This is a red line that can’t be crossed.”

In a related development, the PA government decided Tuesday to allocate 15 million shekels to support the “steadfastness” of Palestinians living in the Jordan Valley.

The announcement came following the government’s weekly meeting, which was held in a Jordan Valley village in response to the Israeli decision.

The government said that the sum would also go to the implementation of developmental projects in the area.

“There will be no Palestinian state without the Jordan Valley and Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip,” the government said in a statement. “Our eastern borders will be only with Jordan,” it added. “The Jordan Valley is an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territories.”
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