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Abbas says Jordan Valley 'a red line'

Dec. 31, 2013 10:35 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 5, 2014 11:20 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- President Mahmoud Abbas said Tuesday that the Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank was a "red line" for the Palestinians despite Israeli plans to annex it.

"If they do that, which we will not allow, we will see what future holds. This land is ours and will remain Palestinian land, and everybody should know that this is a red line that can’t be crossed,” Abbas said.

Israel's Channel Seven reported Sunday that the Ministerial Committee on Legislation voted in favor of a bill that would annex the entirety of the Jordan Valley.

Four ministers approved it and three opposed it, the report said.

Other Palestinian officials have blasted the move.

Also Tuesday, Abbas, who was speaking in Ramallah at a celebration for the release of 26 Palestinian prisoners, said sick prisoners would be released after 104 held before Oslo.

“We promise you that no final agreement will be reached unless all prisoners are at home. I would like to say for the record that they [the Israelis] delayed the release of those heroes for 24 hours and this is unacceptable,” Abbas told crowds who gathered in the presidential compound in Ramallah.

Abbas congratulated the prisoners and their families promising that such celebrations would continue. “There will be more groups of those heroes every now and then and in the near future.”

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