PA's Hamdallah: 2nd group of Palestinian prisoners could be released by end of September

Livni, Erekat reportedly met in Jerusalem on Saturday.

By JPOST.COM STAFF,
September 1, 2013 21:27
1 minute read.
Prof. Rami Hamdallah, president of An-Najah National University.

Rami Hamdallah 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Abed Omar Qusini)

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said Sunday that a second group of Palestinian security prisoners could be released by Israel by the end of September.

Israel released a first group of 26 Palestinian prisoners on August 13 as a gesture to the Palestinians ahead of the renewal of peace talks.

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The cabinet voted to release a total of 104 Palestinian prisoners in stages over the next nine months as part of the diplomatic negotiations.

"It is possible that the second batch of pre-Oslo prisoners will be released before the end of this month," the Bethlehem-based Ma'an news agency quoted Hamdallah as saying.

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni met with chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat in Jerusalem on Saturday in a continuation of peace talks, Israel Radio reported.

According to the report, US peace talks envoy Martin Indyk did not take part in the meeting.

The sides were expected to meet again on Tuesday.

The last three rounds of talks between Israel and the Palestinians did not achieve any progress, Nabil Sha'ath, member of the Fatah Central Committee, said Sunday.

"The Palestinian side held a number of negotiating sessions with the Israeli side in order to achieve progress, but Israel did not present anything positive," Sha'ath told the Al-Resalah news website.

He said that Israel's policy on the ground was "in complete contradiction of the principles of the peace process." He accused Israel of pursuing settlement construction and the "Judaization" of Jerusalem.

Sha'ath said that despite the lack of progress the Palestinian Authority was determined to continue with the peace talks while not ruling out the possibility of going to international agencies and forums if the negotiations fail.

Sha'ath also complained about the absence of international pressure on Israel.


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