Palestinians threaten to seek statehood at UN if prisoner release canceled

Abbas returns to Ramallah from Washington, says he made no concessions in his talks with Obama.

Abbas returns to Ramallah from US (photo credit: REUTERS)
Abbas returns to Ramallah from US
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Palestinian Authority threatened to seek full recognition as a member state in the United Nations if Israel does not release the fourth batch of Palestinian security prisoners as part of ongoing peace talks as scheduled on March 29.
"We are waiting for the word from Abu Mazen [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas], to take action in the international arena," the PA Foreign Ministry stated.
On Wednesday, the Palestinian Authority released a list of 30 prisoners it is requesting be released, 14 of whom are Arab-Israelis and four of whom are from east Jerusalem.
The PA's threats came as Abbas returned to Ramallah from his meeting with US President Barack Obama in the United States, saying that Israel can prove its commitment to negotiations by releasing the prisoners.
He added that the Palestinians have not conceded that the prisoner release will be canceled. "We are all very hopeful that the group of prisoners will be freed at the end of the month, because this will show the seriousness of the efforts we have invested in the peace process."
Abbas told those assembled to welcome him home in Ramallah that he had not made any concessions in his talks with Obama. "We went and returned and did not give up our obligations," Abbas aid in a short speech.
"Be assured that we will be victorious. We will keep secure what you have entrusted us with," he added.