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Kerry backs talks despite growing dispute between Palestinians and Israelis

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Kerry backs talks despite growing dispute between Palestinians and Israelis

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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has said that he would seek further United Nations recognition in an unexpected move that could derail US-brokered peace talks with Israel. He signed applications by the “State of Palestine” to join several UN agencies and ratify international treaties on Tuesday.

Speaking in the West Bank, Abbas said he had been promised “nine times that a fourth batch of prisoners would be released.” He added that it was “the latest promise that the Israeli government would be convening to approve that, however that didn’t happen.”

As part of a deal with Israel Abbas had promised to suspend his UN bid in exchange for the release of 104 veteran Palestinian prisoners in four stages.

Israeli officials have said they are reluctant to proceed unless the Palestinians commit to extending talks past the end of April deadline agreed after a push by the US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Speaking in Brussels he said that it was too early to draw conclusions about the prospects in peace talks between both sides despite the difficulties.