Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Palestinians Threaten to Renew UN Recognition; Unless Israel Releases Pal. Prisoners by March 29

The Palestinians threatened today (March 19, 2014) to resume their campaign for international recognition at the United Nations if Israel calls off a planned release of Palestinian prisoners, deepening a crisis that could derail U.S.-led Mideast peace efforts, the 24 All News website reports.

Israel pledged to release 104 long-serving Palestinian prisoners in four stages at the outset of the current round of talks last July. The fourth and final release was set to take place by March 29.

But in recent days, Israel has signaled it may not carry out the final release. Israel said yesterday that much would depend on the progress that is made, and it is seeking an extension of negotiations beyond the current late-April deadline.

Palestinian official Nabil Shaath said yesterday that the Palestinians would "immediately" resume their United Nations campaign if Israel reneges on the release. The Palestinians had frozen these UN efforts as part of the U.S.-brokered package that relaunched the negotiations last year.

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