Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh has urged Hamas to release all “political” detainees in the Gaza Strip.
In opening remarks during the weekly meeting of the Palestinian Authority cabinet in Ramallah, Shtayyeh said more than 85 “political” detainees were being held in Hamas prisons in the Gaza Strip.
“We demand the release of all the political prisoners in the Gaza Strip in compliance with President Abbas’s decree,” the PM said.
He further assured that there were no “political detainees” in PA prisons in the West Bank.
“Public freedoms are safeguarded in accordance with the Palestinian Basic Law,” he stressed.
The PA government will do its utmost to ensure the success of the elections, which will be held on the basis of public freedoms, pluralism and national partnership, the PM added.
In response to Shtayyeh’s call, Hamas denied that it was holding political detainees.
All the detainees and prisoners in Hamas prisons have been convicted of criminal or security offenses, the Hamas-controlled Ministry of Interior said in a statement.
In compliance with the Feb meetings in Cairo, and in contribution to public freedoms, some cases are being legally handled, the Ministry revealed.
It stressed that public freedoms are protected in the Gaza Strip in line with the Palestinian Basic Law, adding that the implementation of the decree is necessary to guarantee the success of the democratic process scheduled on May 22.