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Palestinians reject Israel's economic sanctions

IANS  |  Ramallah 

Palestinian peace negotiators said Sunday that if Israel is going to impose economic sanctions against the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), they might halt security coordination with Israel.

During a meeting in Jerusalem, the Palestinian negotiation team refused to extend the ongoing peace talks, which will end later this month, unless Israel agrees to release the final batch of Palestinian prisoners. The Palestinians also demanded a halt of Israeli settlement construction, Xinhua reported.

Israel insisted that the Palestinian bid to join 15 international and UN agencies be frozen, which was rebuffed by Palestinian negotiators.

The meeting did not make any tangible progress regarding the extension of the US-backed peace negotiations.

Earlier on Thursday Israel announced to freeze the tax revenues that it collects from goods import on behalf of the Palestinians in response to the PNA's request to join the international and UN conventions. The tax exceeds $1 billion each year.

Israel has also decided to suspend its participation with the Palestinians in developing a gas field off the Gaza Strip shore.

The Israeli sanctions came one day after the UN announced it had accepted the Palestinian request to join a number of its agencies and treaties.

The peace negotiations between the two sides have hit a deadlock after the tit-for-tat political confrontation, raising doubts of a possible collapse of the peace process which is set to end later this month.

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First Published: Mon, April 14 2014. 03:42 IST
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