(cont'd) he total number of Palestinian prisoners is in fact increasing," he said in a statement. "The international community should not be misled: the current Israeli government is no partner for peace," the statement added. Barghouthi underlined that this "release some and at the same time arrest even more" behaviour was common practice for the Israeli government, which sees Palestinian prisoners as "inexpensive bargaining chips." "The Israeli military carries on a relentless arrest campaign against Palestinians and these 'goodwill gestures' never really bring down the number of Palestinians detained, currently standing at about 11,000," the statement added. The Palestinian National Initiative is calling for the immediate release of all prisoners, the end of the siege of the Gaza Strip and "real peace negotiations between a united and democratic Palestinian leadership and Israel on the basis of international law."
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