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PA minister: No peace deal without prisoner release

Nov. 26, 2009 8:25 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 28, 2009 1:23 P.M.)
Jericho – Ma'an – Issa Qaraqe, the minister of detainees and detainees affairs, said on Thursday he would not sign a peace agreement with Israel until all Palestinian prisoners had been released from its jails.

Speaking at an international conference in Jericho on the plight of Palestinian prisoners, Qaraqe said children and women in Israel's jails deserved the attention of the international community, which he urged to intervene.

He also alleged that Palestinians suffer widespread torture and medical neglect, that the issue was at the top of President Mahmoud Abbas' agenda, and that there would never be a peace agreement with Israel that did not address detainees.

Among the participants on Thursday were Sinn Féin member and former political prisoner Patrick Sheehan, former EU vice president Luisa Morgantini, UK lawyer and activist Liam Pepper, US ex-detainees activist Victoria Britain, Swedish lawyer and International Court of Justice -child detainees group member Arne Malmgren, Greek Committee for Human Rights representative Christina Papadopoulou, US activist member Nancy Murray and Friends of Ahmad Sa'adat - USA representative Dr Renee Levant.
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