'No talks unless Israel frees prisoners'
JPost.com Staff , THE JERUSALEM POST
The Fatah General Assembly on Thursday unanimously adopted a resolution, Israel Radio reported, according to which the negotiations with Jerusalem will not renewed until Israel releases all the Palestinian prisoners held in its jails.
However, citing a Palestinian report, Israel Radio also included a more moderate wording of the decision, according to which an agreement on a timeframe for the release of all Palestinian prisoners is a condition for the renewal of peace talks.
Senior Fatah official Nabil Sha'ath said that the committee in charge of determining the movement's policy approved 14 conditions for the renewal of negotiations with Israel, including lifting the blockade on the Gaza Strip and halting settlement construction.
In an interview with a Web site linked with the Islamic Jihad, Sha'ath added that Fatah had not denounced the armed resistance, though it had not yet lost faith in the negotiations.
The decision came amid mounting tensions between rival camps in the movement at the Bethlehem conference.
On Tuesday, the first day of the conference, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told delegates that peace talks with Israel should continue "as long as there is still a little bit of hope."
Israel has released some 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in a number of goodwill gestures since the summer of 2007. Some 9,000 Palestinian prisoners are currently in Israeli jails.