Palestine-Israel talks may be extended: Erekat

Chief Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat says the so-called peace talks between Palestine and the Israeli regime may need to be extended for another year.

On Wednesday, Erekat said the talks may need to be extended if Palestinian and Israeli negotiators agree on key issues by the time the current round of talks wraps up in April.

“We are not talking about a peace treaty on the 29th of April, we are talking about a framework agreement,” he said, adding “to reach a comprehensive treaty, on all core issues… you need six to 12 months in the best case.”

He further noted that the agreement would specify a range of issues including the percentage of the prisoner swaps and security arrangements.

Palestinian and Israeli negotiators began a fresh round of talks in July. Previous talks between Palestinians and Israel broke down in September 2010 after Tel Aviv refused to freeze its settlement activities in the occupied West Bank.

On December 9, the Palestinian Authority (PA) said that there will be no agreement with Israel without the release of Palestinian prisoners.

“We won’t accept any delay in the release of prisoners,” said Nabil Abu Rudaineh, a spokesman for acting PA chief Mahmoud Abbas.

The PA made the announcement in response to Israeli media reports which said US Secretary of State John Kerry threatened to postpone the scheduled release of Palestinian prisoners.

In July, Tel Aviv had said 104 Palestinians would be freed in stages as part of a deal for the resumption of the talks with the PA. In October, Israel freed 26 Palestinian prisoners.

More than 4,500 Palestinian inmates are held in Israeli jails, many of them without charges or trial.

By Press TV


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