Abbas: Palestinians to seek further UN recognition

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry leaves Tel Aviv, Israel Tuesday April 1, 2014, continuing on to NATO meetings in Brussels after meeting in Israel with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the Middle East peace process talks. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Pool)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry leaves Tel Aviv, Israel Tuesday April 1, 2014, continuing on to NATO meetings in Brussels after meeting in Israel with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the Middle East peace process talks. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Pool)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, right, shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, Monday, March 31, 2014, for a previously unannounced stop in Israel to continue working on talks about the Middle East peace process. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Pool)

FILE – This May 15, 1998 file photo shows Jonathan Pollard speaking during an interview in a conference room at the Federal Correction Institution in Butner, N.C. An AP source says: the US is talking with Israel about early release of Pollard for concessions. (AP Photo/Karl DeBlaker, File)

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RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — President Mahmoud Abbas says the Palestinians are “immediately” resuming their bid to win further U.N. recognition and has signed applications for 15 U.N. agencies and conventions.

Abbas’ surprise move late Tuesday could derail U.S.-brokered peace talks with Israel. There was no immediate Israeli comment.

The talks resumed in late July, and Abbas said at the time he would suspend attempts to join U.N. agencies and treaties for nine months. Israel, in turn, said it would release 104 veteran Palestinian prisoners in four groups.

However, Israel has balked at releasing the last group.

Abbas said Tuesday “we will apply to 15 agencies and conventions immediately” because Israel failed to keep its word. He signed the applications in a televised ceremony.

Israel views the move as an attempt to avoid peace talks.

Associated Press

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