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PLO Chief Negotiator called on all participants in Bahrain Conference to commit to releasing Palestinian prisoners

“PLO [Executive Committee] Secretary [and Fatah Central Committee member] Saeb Erekat… met with two American delegations of academics, religious clergy, and civil society institutions, and with British Consul General Philip Hall – each one separately. Erekat called on all sides that were present at the Manama workshop (refers to US-led conference in Bahrain in June 2019 focusing on economic aspects of US President Donald Trump's Middle East peace plan –Ed.) to publish a joint position emphasizing their commitment to international law, the international bodies, the principle of two states on the June 4, 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as [Palestine’s] capital, the resolution of the refugees’ issue on the basis of UN Resolution 194 (see note below –Ed.), and the release of the prisoners.”

Saeb Erekat also holds the position of PLO Chief Negotiator.

UN Resolution 194 (Chapter 11, Dec. 11, 1948) states that "the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return." Palestinian leaders argue this means that all Arabs who left Israel during the war (hundreds of thousands) and their descendants (a few million) have a "right of return" to Israel. Israel argues that the resolution only calls for a limited return and only under certain conditions, especially focusing on the words "wishing to return... and live at peace with their neighbors."