Palestinians threaten to resume UN campaign

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RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) -- A senior Palestinian official says the Palestinians will resume their campaign for international recognition at the United Nations if Israel calls off a planned release of Palestinian prisoners.

Israel pledged to release 104 long-serving prisoners in four stages under a U.S.-brokered deal to relaunch peace talks with the Palestinians last July. The fourth and final group is to be released by March 29.

Israel's chief negotiator said Tuesday that Israel is not obligated to free the prisoners, and said the decision to do so would depend on progress in peace talks. Israel is seeking a Palestinian pledge to extend talks beyond a current April deadline.

Palestinian official Nabil Shaath said the Palestinians said if the prisoner release is called off, the Palestinians will "immediately" turn to the U.N.

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