Freeing thousands of Palestinian Authority prisoners, including several terrorists serving multiple life terms in jail, has become a central condition for making peace with Israel, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said Tuesday.

He seized on the current tension created by a hunger strike of prisoners and the PA allegations that prisoner Arafat Jarakat was tortured to death. An autopsy attended by a PA doctor and legal team concluded there were no signs of violence on his body.

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Abbas previously has demanded the relapse of prisoners, but his decision to place it higher on the agenda, shoving aside the question of Israel’s building in Judea and Samaria, makes direct talks with Israel even more unlikely.

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Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.
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