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Palestinians: US seeks delay in prisoner release
Palestinian officials say US proposed linking prisoner release to framework agreement
By KARIN LAUB
Associated Press
2013-12-09 11:42 PM

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) -- Palestinian officials say U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry wants to link an upcoming release of Palestinian prisoners by Israel to a framework agreement he hopes to reach in peace talks between the two sides.

Yasser Abed Rabbo, an aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, alleged Monday that the U.S. is using the prisoners to "blackmail" the Palestinians to accept a vague framework deal that fails to meet Palestinian demands.

Israel is to release 104 Palestinian prisoners in four stages during the negotiations, with the final two releases in late December and March.

Two Palestinian officials say Kerry proposed to free all remaining prisoners in late January and link the release to a framework agreement. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.

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