Fatah official seeks to free prisoners

June 6, 2013 at 7:05 AM
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RAMALLAH, West Bank, June 6 (UPI) -- A senior Fatah official urged Israel to release Palestinian prisoners jailed in Israel before the signing of the 1993 Oslo Accords as a goodwill gesture.

In an interview on Israel Radio Thursday, Fatah Central Committee member Hussein al-Sheik said such a move would encourage the Palestinian leadership to resume peace talks with Israel.

He said a list of 120 names has been submitted to Israel and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Sheik said the Palestinian leadership is still waiting for a response.

"Releasing 120 Palestinian prisoners, I am certain, will provide a good atmosphere, and will encourage the Palestinian leadership to consider its position on the negotiations carefully," he said. "Israel released 1,500 prisoners in negotiations with Hamas [in the Gilad Schalit deal]. Can it not give a partner for peace 100 or 120 prisoners?" He said the prisoners' release would pose no danger to Israel.

There has been no official comment from Israel.

The Oslo Accords signed by Israel and the Palestinians in Washington in 1993 was aimed at ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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