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Haniyeh: 80 Fatah members can return to Gaza
Published Saturday 21/01/2012 (updated) 22/01/2012 16:47
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File photo of Fatah leader President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister in
Gaza Ismail Haniyeh. (MaanImages/Wesam Saleh, File)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said Saturday that his Hamas-led government will allow the return of 80 Fatah supporters who left the Gaza Strip when his Hamas party took power.

Fatah affiliates fled Gaza after fierce clashes between forces from the rival factions in mid-2007, which led to the establishment of separate administrations and security forces in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

Speaking at a news conference in Gaza City, Haniyeh called for the completion of the national reconciliation process which was launched after party leaders signed a deal to unite the governments in May 2011.

His comments came after Haniyeh met members of the reconciliation 'freedoms committee' in the Gaza Strip, tasked with implementation of tenets of the deal including freeing political prisoners, issuing passports in Gaza, and ending infighting.

Gaza government spokesman Taher al-Nunu said after the meeting that Haniyeh also agreed to the return of 26 former employees of the Ministry of Interior's passport section, to facilitate the issuing of passports in the coastal enclave.

Haniyeh told the committee he will release "category C" political prisoners to coincide with West Bank releases, without elaborating on the categorization of jailed activists.

"We will study the committee's request to release the political prisoners in Gaza in the coming two days," the premier added.

Islamic Jihad member of the committee Khalid al-Batsh applauded Haniyeh’s decision and called on the government in Ramallah to take similar actions and to fully support the committee's work.

"We are going to end the split and the 'train of the reconciliation' is set in motion, albeit slowly," al-Batsh said. He added that hoped there will be an end to the suffering of the political prisoners and an end to the division by the end of the month.

Dweik detention 'demands PLC reactivation'

Meanwhile, the premier in Gaza City slammed Israel's detention of parliament speaker Aziz Dweik on Friday, saying "Israeli piracy against legitimate Palestinian leaders is not unprecedented."

Earlier, he called for a parliamentary session to be held in February to respond to the detentions, comments echoed by the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Deputy speaker of the PLC Ahmad Bahar told reporters at the press conference that the Palestinian Authority should set a clear and firm position of reactivating the PLC in the West Bank.

A new "national unity session" of the parliament should be activated to protect all the decisions made by party leaders in the reconciliation deal.

The spokesman of an Algerian delegation visiting the coastal strip urged parliaments in the Arab and Islamic world to intervene to free Dweik and all other Palestinian lawmakers in Israeli jails.

He described the detention of Dweik as a disgrace harming all Arab and Islamic parliaments.

Haniyeh said the participation of the Algerian delegates in the solidarity conference showed Dweik has become a "symbol of glory not only at a local level."

Palestinian resistance remains strong, stable and deep-rooted despite the detention of lawmakers, leaders and officials, the Gaza premier said.

"The (Israeli) occupation is powerless in front of those leaders and lawmakers who sacrificed their souls and blood for their homeland," he added.
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1 ) kHan / Bangladesh
21/01/2012 19:03
:)

2 ) Farouq / USA
21/01/2012 19:48
Forgiveness is the answer to a child's dream of a miracle by which what is broken is made whole again. These men say they forgive their enemies - but lo, see how they write the "forgiven's" names on the list...

3 ) Mahmoud / Palestine
21/01/2012 21:51
Who are you, Haniyeh, to decide who can return to HIS HOME? You are an overthrown prime minister and you're illegitimate since 2007 when you and your gang brought more misery to our people in Gaza. How can you talk about the right of return of Palestinian refugees when you're restricting the freedom of people to return to their homes in GAZA? Just because of political affiliation?

4 ) nicenigel / uk
21/01/2012 23:21
Good to hear of the unity between the people of Gaza. Public opinion is swaying in your favour, people are beginning to take notice of the atrocities commited against you. If you show a united front and by peaceful demonstration I feel certain that you will have the support of the majority of the people of the world.

5 ) Tibi / Tubas
22/01/2012 07:45
Maybe one day Israel will allow 80 refugees to return also.

6 ) Nour / One-State
22/01/2012 08:14
Wrong on all counts. Dweik's arrest calls for a full civil obedience and popular uprising against the Apartheid entity. The PLC would not solve the immediate and ongoing threat that is the occupation, which by definition is a military action. Dweik wants a chair, to be relevant. On the other hand, those thugs in Gaza and Ramallah ought to be deposed this year by the masses of Palestinians fed up with political chicanery and rivalry between those feuding groups, who vie for power and money.

7 ) southparkbear / usa
22/01/2012 18:08
hey, they need a stock of candidates to be executed
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