Abbas: Deal with Israel to free more prisoners

Abbas urges Israeli government 'to stand up to this agreement and fulfill its promise'

Freed Palestinians celebrate
Image Credit: Reuters
Palestinian prisoners, released by Israel in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, wave from buses as they make their way through the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza on Tuesday.
Gulf News

Ramallah President Mahmoud Abbas announced on Tuesday that the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) had an agreement with the Israeli government to release an equal number of prisoners freed in exchange for Gilad Shalit once the present swap is completed.

Abbas was speaking here during a celebration to welcome prisoners released from Israeli jails.

"We had an agreement with the Israeli government to release the same number of prisoners released for Shalit after the swap is completed," he said.

"We urge the Israeli government to stand up to this agreement and fulfill its promise," he said.

"A breakthrough on the issue of the prisoners in the Israeli jails will take place very soon," he stressed.

Addressing the released prisoners, Abbas said that their efforts, sacrifices, and suffering will not go waste. "You will see the results of your sacrifices and suffering in the Palestinian independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital," he said.

"The coming round of negotiations will be based on the 1967 borders for the independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital. The Israeli colonial activities should be halted and the issue of the prisoners is on top of the leadership's priority," he said.

Commenting on the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation, Abbas said, "I am telling you that the Palestinian reconciliation will be accomplished very soon."

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