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Hamas Releases 45 Political Prisoners, Fatah Unsatisfied

Hamas Releases 45 Political Prisoners, Fatah Unsatisfied

Friday, 26 February, 2021 - 11:00
Palestinian students supporting the Fatah movement flash victory signs as they take part in an election campaign for the student council at the Birzeit University campus in the West Bank city of Ramallah April 14, 2009. REUTERS/Fadi Arouri

Hamas’ Ministry of Interior in the Gaza Strip announced the release of 45 convicts and detainees as part of efforts to prepare a suitable internal environment for the holding of general elections.


In a statement, the ministry said that the Military Judicial Authority and the competent security agencies have studied the cases of a number of prisoners who have been sentenced and arrested over security issues, adding that 45 convicted and arrested persons were released.


The Ministry of the Interior noted that all the reviewed cases had nothing to do with political or partisan activity or expression of opinion.


Hamas commended the move, saying that the measure was a reflection of the Gazan authorities’ keenness to create a more positive environment ahead the general elections, and to ensure commitment to the outcomes of the February 2021 Cairo Dialogue.


The movement called on both Fatah and the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah to help prepare a suitable environment for the peaceful holding of the elections, and to stop all forms of prosecution, harassment and summonses, release political detainees, and lift the ban on media freedoms.


As expressed by one of the movement’s leaders, Mustafa Abu Ara, Hamas demanded the authority to release its political prisoners, “just as the security services in Gaza did.”


Hamas’ move came after an argument with the Authority over the issue of political detainees.


Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh demanded that the movement release 85 “political detainees” in the Gaza Strip, but Hamas denied having “political detainees.”


Fatah responded by saying that Hamas’ step was insufficient.


Azzam al-Ahmad, a member of the movement’s central committee, said that the detainees in Gaza were not only 45 people.


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