Palestine demands Israel to release the arrested Speaker
The Palestinian Authority demanded Israel to free 24 Arab legislators, including the Speaker Aziz Dweik, who was arrested last week. This was reported by the newspaper Jerusalem Post.
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat sent a list of detainees to the Special Envoy of Israel Yitzhak Molho. They met in the Jordanian capital Amman on Saturday, January 21.
Most Palestinian legislators detained in Israeli prisons belong to the Islamic group Hamas. Erekat accused Israel that the Jewish state is trying to torpedo efforts to reconcile Hamas and the moderate Fatah movement, represented by Erekat and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, through the arrest of Dweik.
The Israeli government refused to give any information about its talks, including a fourth meeting with the Palestinians this year after the fact that direct talks have been at an impasse over 15 months. Another meeting is scheduled for the end of this week.
Thursday, January 26, is the deadline set by the "quartet" of Peacemakers (USA, Russia, UN and European Union) for both sides in the Middle East conflict. On this day, they must submit their proposals on security and common borders. The representative of Mahmoud Abbas announced that they will be "forced to take unilateral decisions" if there's no progress by Thursday, MIGnews reported.