Fatah agrees to join committee to end politically-motivated arrests

Israel Materials 16 August 2008 12:46 (UTC +04:00)

The Fatah movement of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has agreed to join a national committee designated to end politically-motivated arrests among Palestinian groups, an official said Saturday, dpa reported.

The formation of the committee was offered last week during a meeting between leaders of the Islamist Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip and officials from leftist Palestinian factions after a surge of politically-motivated detentions conducted by Hamas in Gaza and Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank.

"Fatah has showed its readiness to join a national committee to resolve the issue of political arrests by setting up a mechanism to release the prisoners," said Mahmoud Khalaf, a leader of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP).

Yesterday, the leftist factions met several leaders of Fatah in the Hamas-controlled Gaza. It comes two days after a similar meeting with Hamas.

During the meeting, the factions discussed ways of resuming inter- Palestinian dialogue to end the political split between Gaza Strip and West Bank.

Last year, Hamas routed pro-Abbas forces and took over control of the Gaza Strip, boosting the separation of the already geographically-unlinked West Bank.

Hamas launched the toughest crackdown against Fatah in months in Gaza last month following a beachside blast in which a girl and five Hamas members were killed.

Fatah responded by arresting Hamas supporters in the West Bank.