Fatah: 20 Hamas members released from West Bank jails
President Mahmoud Abbas security forces in the West Bank released Thursday 20 Hamas activists, and planned to free more within the 48 hours, a senior Fatah party official said Friday.
Azzam el-Ahmed, Fatah negotiator to the inter-dialogue with Hamas, told reporters that he handed his Hamas counterparts a list of 20 Hamas members who "were freed yesterday (Thursday) following pressure on President Abbas."
"More Hamas prisoners will be released within the coming two days," el-Ahmed confirmed, adding "Fatah movement is determined to close the file of political detention even if Hamas refuses to release Fatah activists in Gaza."
El-Ahmed reiterated that Fatah has no link to the ongoing arrests taking place in the West Bank against Hamas activists, adding "Fatah is following in succession with President Abbas to remove excuses that might obstruct the dialogue."
On Thursday, Hamas ruled out reaching a reconciliation deal on July 7 with rival Fatah party, as President Mahmoud Abbas security forces continue crackdown on Hamas members in the West Bank.
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum, told a news conference in Gaza that "it has become difficult to sign a deal with Fatah movement while the security forces still receives orders from Abbas to practice killings, detention and kidnapping."
Egypt, who sponsors the reconciliation dialogue, intends to invite Fatah and Hamas leaders for a final round of talks on June 28. Egypt insists that the Palestinian factions have to sign an agreement in Cairo on July 7.
El-Ahmed said that the political detention "is one of the most crucial files that need to be immediately resolved in order to reach a reconciliation agreement and end the current rift between Gaza and the West Bank."