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Palestine seeks further UN recognition

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RAMALLAH, West Bank (KNOE 8 News/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.

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