Wednesday, 2 April 2014

PLO submits applications to join 15 international bodies

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Letters of accession for 15 international multilateral treaties and conventions were handed to the relevant parties on Wednesday after being signed by President Mahmoud Abbas a day earlier, Palestinian officials said.

The letters were delivered to Robert Serry, the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Paul Garnier, the permanent representative of Switzerland to the United Nations, and to the deputy head of the permanent mission of Holland to the United Nations.

The PA Foreign Ministry said employees were working hard to put into effect the decision by President Abbas to join international bodies after Israel reneged on an agreement to release a final group of prisoners.

In July, the PLO agreed to postpone accession to international bodies in exchange for the release of 104 Palestinians prisoners jailed before the Oslo Accords.

"Since Israel failed to release the last group of prisoners, the State of Palestine is no longer obliged to postpone its rights to accede to multilateral treaties and conventions," the PLO said in a statement Wednesday.

"Despite the escalation of oppressive Israeli policies such as the killing of Palestinian civilians, settlement construction, raids on vulnerable communities, arbitrary arrests and detentions, home demolitions and the removal of residency rights, we remained committed to the negotiations process and supported US efforts," it added. more

2 DFLP militants injured during mission in Rafah

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Two Palestinian militants affiliated to the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine were injured during a "mission" in the southern Gaza Strip, the group's military wing said in a statement Wednesday.

The National Resistance Brigades said in statement that an explosion occurred during a "resistance mission" in Rafah, injuring two fighters. more

Hamas rejects extension of negotiations

Hamas said today, Tuesday, April 1, 2014, that it rejects the extension of negotiations with Israel, and called on the Palestinian Authority to “stop this travesty.”

The extension of talks would mark the “genuine ending of the Palestinian cause”, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said.

US peace efforts are teetering on the brink of collapse after Israel refused to free a fourth and final group of 26 veteran Palestinian prisoners which would have completed an agreement that brought the sides back to the negotiating table in July 2013, Ma'an News Agency reports.

Furious Palestinian officials have warned that unless Israel changes its stance on the prisoner releases, it could signal the end of the negotiations, which are in any case due to draw to a close on April 29.

US efforts are currently focused on getting the parties to agree an extension to the end of the year.

Secretary of State John Kerry met Tuesday for two hours with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, before entering talks with Palestinian negotiators at his Jerusalem hotel. more

Gaza celebrates Erdogan's victory

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip took to the streets yesterday evening to celebrate the victory of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The Palestinians described the resounding victory of Erdogan's party as a kind of "landslide victory" for political Islam when it has a free democratic atmosphere.

Gaza residents respect Turkey because of its outspoken stances against the Israeli-Egyptian, internationally backed, siege on them.

Turkey has refused to restore diplomatic relations with Israel before the latter lifts the siege on Gaza and allows Turkish aid organisations access. more