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Palestinians support extending negotiations if more prisoners released

JTA

March 24, 2014 | 1:50 pm

Palestinians rally in Bethlehem on March 17. Photo by Ammar Awad/Reuters

Palestinians rally in Bethlehem on March 17. Photo by Ammar Awad/Reuters

A new poll found that 65 percent of Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza would support extending the current American-backed peace talks if Israel releases extra Palestinian prisoners.

The negotiations are set to end on April 29. Israel is scheduled to release a fourth group of 28 Palestinian prisoners on March 28, but the Security Cabinet has said it will not release them unless the Palestinians agree to extend negotiations.

Some, 1,200 Palestinian adults were interviewed last week by the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research, the French news agency AFP reported.

Some 51 percent said they would support continuing the talks if Israel froze West Bank settlement construction.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Maan news agency cited an unnamed Palestinian official  as saying that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has agreed to extend the peace talks if Israel agrees to freeze settlement construction and release additional prisoners, above the 104 agreed to in order to bring the Palestinians to the negotiating table nearly nine months ago

Abbas indicated his agreement in exchange for the conditions during his recent meeting with President Obama in Washington, the unnamed official told Maan.

The official also told Maan that if the last group of prisoners, who have remained in Israeli jails since before the Oslo Accords, are not released on March 29 that the PA will turn to international organizations for recognition.

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