Abbas calls released terrorists “heroes” and hopes for release of all prisoners
PA TV broadcast PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ speech (long excerpt):
“Today is a day of joy for us all. Joy for our people, for our brave prisoners who came out of [prison] today into the light of freedom, to live as free men, even though they were free men in the prisons. We congratulate all of you for what took place today; we congratulate the small and large families. We promise you that this will not be the last time – there will be more groups of heroes who will come to us one after the other, Allah willing, soon. And, Allah willing, after the fourth phase [of prisoner releases], all the sick [prisoners] will be [freed]. As we promised you, 104 [prisoners] whose release we agreed upon (i.e., that Israel agreed to) will all leave [prison] – and they will come out to their homes and not to any other place. This is what we promised you, and we hope that Allah will help us complete this process…
Brothers, we promise you that there will be no final agreement [with Israel] unless all the prisoners are in their homes. Here, I wish to note that they [the Israelis] postponed these heroes’ release by 24 hours and this is something we do not accept. There is another issue – a committee in the Israeli government announced it has decided to annex the Jordan Valley. If they do this – and we will not allow them to do this – we will act accordingly. This is our land, and it will remain Palestinian.
Everyone should know that, them and everyone else: This is a red line that cannot be crossed.
Brothers and sisters, once again, we congratulate you and ourselves for the [release] of these heroes who came here, to Jerusalem and Gaza. The remaining [prisoners] will come, Allah willing. Peace be upon you and good night.”
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Note: In August 2013, Israel agreed to release 104 Palestinian terrorists from prison, which was the PA's precondition for renewing peace talks. The terrorists were released in stages. The first group of 26 was released on Aug. 13, 2013. The second group of 26 was released on Oct. 30, 2013. The third group was released on Dec. 29, 2013.
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