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      Abbas: Expect 'Joyful News' Sunday

      PA chairman comment to journalists in Ramallah confirms impending release of terrorist prisoners.
      By Gil Ronen
      First Publish: 7/27/2013, 9:14 PM

      Mahmoud Abbas
      Mahmoud Abbas
      AFP photo

      Palestinian Authotiy (PA) head Mahmoud Abbas told journalists in Ramallah Saturday to expect “joyful news” regarding terrorist prisoners on Sunday. The comment confirms reports that Israel is about to release terrorist prisoners as part of a “gesture” toward the PA, in advance of the resumption of “peace talks” between Israel and the PA.

      Abbas said that talks between Israeli and PA teams will open in Washington, DC, on Tuesday.

      Abbas mentioned the opposition by some residents of the PA to the resumption of talks, saying that there had also been opposition to the PA bid for recognition as an observer state in the UN, and that opposition turned out to be unjustified.

      “Peace talks” have been held between Israel and the PA, on and off, for 20 years. Throughout that period, the PA has participated in terror activity against Israel, and has rejected all Israeli offers for concessions that would end the conflict between Israel and the PA, including extremely generous ones.

      Official diplomatic sources in Jerusalem confirmed that Israel has agreed to release 104 terrorist prisoners, and not just 82 as previously reported. Israel will reportedly release the prisoners in batches, possibly once every month.