Abbas: Palestinians will never give up their rights
Abbas said that Israel refusing to release the Palestinian prisoners acts as a violation of the peace talks agreement. (AFP/File)
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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas says no agreement can be reached with Israel without recognition of an independent state of Palestine.
“We are not going to surrender our rights under any kind of pressure and threats,” he said during an emergency meeting of the Fatah Central Committee in the West Bank city of Ramallah, adding, “We reject any attempt to blackmail the Palestinians.”
Abbas also called on Tel Aviv to release Palestinian prisoners as part of a deal between the two sides.
“We are awaiting the release of the fourth batch of prisoners, as agreed upon with the Israelis through the United States,” the Palestinian Authority chief said.
“If they are not released, this is a violation of the agreement and allows us to act however we see fit within the norms of international agreements,” he added.
Israel has said that it will not release the remaining Palestinian inmates unless the Palestinian Authority agrees to extend talks beyond an April deadline.
Abbas says he has his own conditions for the extension of the so-called peace talks. The Palestinian Authority chief wants Israel to release the prisoners and freeze its settlement expansion on Palestinian land.
The last round of Israeli-Palestinian talks broke down in 2010 after the Tel Aviv regime refused to halt its settlement construction.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry brokered the negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians after a three-year gap.