Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat 311 (R).
(photo credit: Jonathan Ernst / Reuters)
Israeli and Palestinian negotiators held talks in Amman on Saturday, in a meeting which saw Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat call on Israel to release dozens of Palestinian lawmakers held in detention by Israel, AFP quoted a Palestinian official as saying on Sunday.
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Chief among the prisoners Erekat called on Israel to release was Palestinian parliamentary speaker Aziz Dweik, a Hamas member arrested on Thursday. IDF soldiers arrested Dweik on suspicion of involvement with terrorist groups, and detained another lawmaker of the group from Bethlehem, Khaled Tafish.
The meeting in Amman between Erekat and Israeli negotiator Yitzhak
Molcho marked the fourth such round of talks sponsored by Jordan and the
Quartet, intended to bring the sides back to direct negotiations.
"Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat gave a letter to the head of the
Israeli delegation Yitzhak Molcho calling on the Israeli government to
immediately release Dweik and more than 23 other Palestinian lawmakers,"
AFP quoted the Palestinian official as saying.
The Palestinian delegation to the Amman talks accused Israel of
arresting Dweik in order to strike "a blow to internal Palestinian
reconciliation" between Hamas and Fatah, according to AFP.
Hamas urged Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday to
suspend exploratory peace talks with Israel following Israel's arrest of
the two Hamas legislators, and to stop his cooperation on West Bank
security with the Israelis.