Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Sunday that Israel will not release more Palestinian prisoners until the Palestinian Authority takes tougher action against militant groups - the latest sign of trouble for an already strained cease-fire.
Israeli and Palestinian officials discussed the prisoner issue Sunday, but their meeting ended in disagreement. Palestinians charged Israel is breaking a truce that has drastically reduced violence, endangering its continuation and weakening Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. (How this "breaks a truce" is not explained in the AP universe.)
[...]Later, AP decides to quote Palestinian spokesterrorists, and ignore any Israeli comments:
Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat accused Israel of stonewalling.
"It seems to me that they will not release the prisoners, they will not hand over the areas, they will not end the question of the fugitives," Erekat said. Instead of imposing delays, he said, Israel should "expedite this process and give peace a chance," he said. (I believe that if you look up "chutzpah" in the dictionary, you'll see a picture of the exerable Erekat.)
Palestinian Cabinet minister Ghassan Khatib cautioned that Sharon's policies "would only lead to the collapse of the recent cease-fire."
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