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Palestinians demand that Israel release 24 legislators

Arab World Materials 23 January 2012 00:42
Palestinian authorities have demanded that Israel release 24 legislators, including parliamentary speaker Aziz Dweik who was arrested last week, Israeli daily Jerusalem Post reported Sunday.
Palestinians demand that Israel release 24 legislators

Palestinian authorities have demanded that Israel release 24 legislators, including parliamentary speaker Aziz Dweik who was arrested last week, Israeli daily Jerusalem Post reported Sunday.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat had handed the list of detainees to Israel's envoy Yitzhak Molcho in the Jordanian capital Amman on Saturday, dpa quoted the paper as reporting.

Most of the Palestinian legislators held in Israeli prisons belong to the Islamist Hamas party.

Erekat reportedly accused Israel of arresting Dweik in an attempt to "torpedo" reconciliation efforts between Hamas and the moderate Fatah party.

The Israeli government refused to give any information about their talks, in what was their fourth meeting with the Palestinians this year, after direct negotiations had stalled for 15 months. Another meeting is planned later in the week.

Thursday has been set by the United States, Russia, the United Nations and European Union as a deadline for both sides to present proposals on security and shared borders.

A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said that they would be "forced to take decisions" if no progress was made by Thursday.

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