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Erekat: Renewal of peace talks possible under conditions

May 24, 2014 2:55 P.M. (Updated: May 25, 2014 9:48 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The PLO will agree to resume peace talks on the condition that Israel frees pre-Oslo prisoners and freezes settlement construction, a senior official said Saturday.

Speaking to Ma'an on the sidelines of a conference organized by the Fatah movement, Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat said that it was still not clear when peace negotiations would be relaunched.

Addressing the conference in Yatta in the southern West Bank, Erekat said that regardless of Israel's "stubbornness" at the negotiation table, Palestinians are in a better position than before, now that Palestine "is behaving like a state at international gatherings" including the UN.

Erekat said that Palestine would become a signatory of the Hague Convention of 1907 on June 2.

Among other panelists at the conference were Jamal Zahalka, a Palestinian member of the Israeli Knesset, Sultan Abu al-Aynein, a Fatah Central Committee Member, and several other Fatah leaders and Hebron dignitaries.

Israel's failure to release as agreed a final round of Palestinian veteran prisoners was a key pitfall in the latest round of US-brokered peace talks.

In response, the PLO acceded to 15 international treaties and conventions, a move that enraged the Israeli side.
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