Hamas authorities in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday released seven Fatah activists
who had been sentenced to prison for security-related offenses.
men were released 48 hours after Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh announced a
series of measures to pave the way for reconciliation with Fatah.
measures, which have been welcomed by Fatah leaders, also include the return of
Fatah activists who fled the Gaza Strip to their homes.
spokesman for the Hamas-controlled Interior Ministry, said that the Fatah
activists were released as part of Haniyeh’s measures to “consolidate national
Shahwan said that Hamas was doing its utmost to achieve
reconciliation with Fatah and “strengthen the internal front.”
that the release of the Fatah activists would be followed by additional
“positive steps” to end the dispute between the two parties.
that the release of the Fatah men proves that the Hamas government is serious in
its efforts to achieve this goal.
Following Haniyeh’s initiative, Fatah
announced that it would send its top official, Azzam al-Ahmed, to the Gaza Strip
soon, to pursue efforts to end the dispute with Hamas.
Al-Ahmed said on
Wednesday that contacts between Fatah and Hamas have not stopped.
that he has been in contact with Hamas representative Musa Abu Marzouk over the
past few months.