Abbas: All pre-Oslo Palestinian prisoners to be freed

Ma'an News Agency - January 1, 2014

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- President Mahmoud Abbas remains committed to freeing all veteran Palestinian prisoners, including those from areas inside Israel, a prisoners' committee said in a statement Wednesday.

During a Tuesday meeting with a committee representing Palestinian prisoners from areas inside Israel, Abbas said an agreement was in place stipulating that veteran prisoners from "1948 areas" would also be released in conjunction with the current set of peace talks, the statement said.

The list of those to be released was approved by Israel and the United States mediators, Abbas was quoted as saying.

The statement said that Palestinian negotiators phoned the American mediators to discuss remarks made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu concerning veteran prisoners who hold Israeli citizenship.

The Americans confirmed that all prisoners detained before Oslo would be freed, including those with Israeli citizenship, the statement said.

Israel agreed to release 104 veteran Palestinian prisoners who have been in custody since before the 1993 Oslo Accords as part of a plan to resume peace negotiations after talks were halted for more than two years.

Seventy-eight prisoners have been released since peace talks began, 26 of whom were freed early Tuesday.

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