04/04/2014, 00.00
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Israel says "no" to the release of Palestinian prisoners

by Joshua Lapide
The decision to "punish" the Palestinians who have declared a "diplomatic intifada " wanting to become signatory members of the 15 UN conventions . Meanwhile, more illegal settlements in the occupied territories .

Jerusalem (AsiaNews ) - Israel has blocked the release of dozens of Palestinian prisoners, accusing the Palestinian Authority of seeking more recognition from the international community and the UN.

Israel should have freed the prisoners under Ehud Olmert , and it has freed hundreds in the past few months, but recently it has slowed the release because Israeli public opinion is against it, given that some of the detainees are accused of killings. The idea of the release was back on the negotiating table after the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged the two sides to resume peace talks.

But meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority is pursuing a diplomatic effort to include Palestine as a member signatory of the 15 UN Conventions , raising its international profile . In particular , the Palestinians want to join the Fourth Geneva Convention, which would give legal grounds for their opposition to Israeli settlements in the occupied territories, which are considered contrary to international laws.

The newspaper Yediot Aharonot writes, "the Palestinians have returned to a diplomatic intifada"  which is unacceptable . Yet, this week,  Israel has announced a new wave of settlements in the area of East Jerusalem. The proliferation of Israeli settlements makes territorial continuity and the creation of a future state of Palestine impossible. Now both sides blame each other for having violated agreements to continue the peace talks.

According to Palestinian sources, their accession to international treaties is now an "irreversible" process.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon are considering punitive measures against Palestinians in the West Bank .


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