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Erekat: Abbas to demand release of pre-Oslo prisoners

June 15, 2012 1:26 P.M. (Updated: June 16, 2012 3:50 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- President Mahmoud Abbas will demand the release of 123 long-term prisoners before agreeing to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat said Friday.

Abbas wants Israel to free 123 prisoners detained before the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, Erekat told Ma'an.

Erekat also said Abbas may meet with Israel's deputy prime minister Shaul Mofaz although no date has been set.

On Thursday, Mofaz called on for the immediate renewal of peace talks between Abbas and Netanyahu, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported.

Meanwhile, Fatah official Nabil Shaath said the Palestinian Authority did not have faith in the Israeli government to follow through with its declarations.

Israel can not even implement court orders to remove an illegal outpost by the Beit El settlement near Ramallah, let alone resolve the issue of settlements in its entirety, he told Ma'an.

Yasser Abed Rabbo, secretary-general of Fatah's executive council, said Thursday that Palestinian officials were wary of maintaining the status-quo with Israel at the expense of progress.

"What we're afraid of is that this process exists to contain any crisis that may occur and not to push the political process forward," Abed Rabbo told Voice of Palestine radio.
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