Abbas orders Hamas prisoner release

The gesture comes ahead of reconciliation talks to be held in Egypt next month.

    Hamas accuses Abbas, right, of a systematic crackdown on its members [EPA]

    Hamas prisoners held in Israeli jails also issued a statement describing the ongoing arrest of their fellow members in the West Bank as "the prime and direct threat to any success of Palestinian reconciliation talks".

    In a news conference last week, Ismail al-Ashkar, a Hamas MP, had said that "Fatah claims of releasing 20 prisoners out of 760 detainees, who suffer all kinds of torture, is a joke".

    Hamas and Fatah announced last week that they would exchange lists of political prisoners following meetings in Ramallah and Gaza to clear the air before reconciliation talks in Cairo next month.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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