Hamas frees Fatah prisoners

Hamas says the move is goodwill gesture to Palestinian reconciliation talks.

    Haniya ordered the release ahead of talks with Palestinian factions next month [AFP]

    Several hours later 17 Fatah men were reported to have been seen walking out of prison.

    "With the release of the 17 political prisoners, we declare an end to political detention in Gaza," Taher al-Nono, a spokesman for the Hamas government in the territory, said.

    Fatah has said that Hamas has captured dozens of its members since it seized control of the Gaza Strip from Fatah in June 2007.

    According to Hamas, Fatah are holding about 400 of its supporters in the West Bank.

    "We urge Fatah to reciprocate and free Hamas members jailed there," Nono said.

    'Cautiously optimistic'

    Reconciliation talks are expected for November 9 in Cairo. Egypt has asked 13 Palestinian factions, including Hamas and Fatah, to the dialogue.

    Haniya said that he was "cautiously optimistic" about a positive outcome from the talks.

    He said: "I must say that the Palestinian dialogue is at crossroads and the success of the dialogue depends on Egypt taking all the remarks and amendments introduced by the balanced Palestinian factions into due consideration, simply we do not want to repeat our past failures."

    Fahmi al-Zarir, a Fatah spokesman, said Haniya had finally recognised that Hamas "has been abducting Fatah men in Gaza because of their political opinions and nothing else".

    Hamas had said that those Fatah members held had committed criminal acts, rather then arrests being politically motivated.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Life after death row: The pastor praying for Nigeria's prisoners

    The Nigerian pastor adapting to life after death row

    Clinton Kanu spent 27 years in prison for a murder he did not commit, but life on the outside feels far from free.

    What it means to love a dead child

    What it means to love a dead child

    You must forget all you thought you knew about grief when the landscape of your life has been demolished.

    'Butchered': The Kenyan FGM clinic serving Europeans

    'Butchered': The Kenyan FGM clinic serving Europeans

    Kenya banned FGM in 2011, but Europeans still bring their daughters to underground clinics there to be cut.