Palestinian Authority (PA) sources threatened Tuesday to violate peace talk conditions by restarting unilateral moves at the United Nations (UN), if the fourth and final batch of terrorists is not released this Friday.
Last July when peace talks resumed, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas pledged to put efforts at recognition in international bodies on hold during the nine-month period of negotiations. Israel for its part agreed to free 104 terrorist prisoners as a "gesture" to advance talks.
Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) secretary general Yasser Abed Rabbo said on Tuesday "we shall turn to the UN's international organizations if Israel does not release the fourth and final group of prisoners. The release of the prisoners is in return for the freeze on seeking membership in international organisations," reports AFP.
It was announced Monday that Abbas would only extend peace talks beyond the set nine-month period if Israel released the final batch of terrorists and froze building in Judea and Samaria. The European Union (EU) similarly pressured Israel last Thursday to release the terrorists.
However, there has been talk of blocking the release of the final batch of terrorists, especially since PA officials have previously revealed Abbas is only staying in peace talks to secure the release of all the terrorists. Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon and members of the Jewish Home party have threatened leaving the government if the final release is conducted.
"If Israel were to refuse to free the fourth batch it would have serious consequences, including initiatives at the United Nations," threatened former PA negotiator Mohammed Shtayeh.
UN positions on "Palestine"
The UN voted to recognize "Palestine" as a non-member observer in 2012, a precedent the PA apparently hopes to build on in fostering international recognition if the release doesn't go through.
The UN Human Rights High Commissioner on Monday claimed Israel’s construction of Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria, as well as “attacks by settlers on Palestinians,” are a major source of rights abuses in the region.
It is worth noting a January report by the Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) revealed the PA is guilty of rampant human rights violations in Judea and Samaria.
Going further, Richard Falk, the UN’s “human rights expert” on Israel's conduct towards Palestinian Arabs, accused Israel last Friday of a campaign of ethnic cleansing and apartheid policies.