Gaza govt releases 6 Fatah members in unity gesture
Published Monday 05/05/2014 (updated) 07/05/2014 20:15
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Hamas-run Gaza government released six prisoners affiliated to the Fatah movement on Monday, an official said.
Iyad al-Bazim, spokesman for the Gaza ministry of the interior, told Ma'an that the prisoners had received a pardon from Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh as part of the April 23 PLO-Hamas unity deal.
The six were convicted of various felonies, al-Bazim said, without elaborating.
They were identified as Alaa Majid Siyam, Sami Jabr al-Nakhala, Mahmoud Kamal al-Buheisi, Muhammad Shehda Abu Omra, Abd al-Aziz Nayif al-Sharafi, and Abd al-rahman Khaddoura.
On April 23, the Fatah-led PLO and Hamas announced a national unity deal to end seven years of political division between the largest two Palestinian parties, with a national unity government to be set in place within five weeks.
The division between Fatah and Hamas began in 2006, when Hamas won Palestinian legislative elections.
In the following year, clashes erupted between Fatah and Hamas, leaving Hamas in control of the Strip and Fatah in control of parts of the occupied West Bank.
The groups have made failed attempts at national reconciliation for years, most recently in 2012, when they signed two agreements -- one in Cairo and a subsequent one in Doha -- which have as of yet been unimplemented.