Fatah-Hamas Discuss Release of Political Prisoners While Mutual Repression Continues

[As this article shows, neither Fatah nor Hamas, who have recently embarked upon some levels of co-operation with each other, have displayed the leadership or the authority to unite the Palestinian people in struggle today against the Zionist settler-colonial occupation and its imperialist partners and paymasters.  Many new grassroots initiatives (both within historic Palestine and throughout the diaspora), of varying degrees of independence from both Fatah and Hamas, are being discussed and debated. — Frontlines ed.]
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Thursday, 23 June 2011
Dolev Rahat, Alternative Information Center (AIC)

Although the scheduled meeting between Mahmoud Abbas and Khaled Mashal in the matter of establishing a Palestinian unity government was recently cancelled over disagreement on the identity of a new Palestinian prime minister, talks between Fatah and Hamas continue on the issue of political detainees.

Palestinian Legislative Council Member Muna Mansour (above) was attacked by West Bank PA police officers during a demonstration

In the framework of the national unity agreement signed in Cairo on 4 May, both Fatah and Hamas committed themselves to cease political detentions, and to free political prisoners already detained.

On Wednesday 22 June, Ashraf Jumaa, a member of the Fatah delegation to the Palestinian unity talks in Cairo, noted that both sides exchanged lists of people they define as political prisoners held by the other side. The reconciliation agreement determines that a committee will be established to discuss these lists and decide which are indeed political prisoners who must be freed.

On Wednesday Jumaa met with mothers and wives of political prisoners from Gaza, and noted a general dissatisfaction with the pace of progress in the matter of political prisoners and their release.

In the meantime it appears that the governments controlled by both movements continue to prosecute political activists of the other side.

In a press release issued by the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) in Gaza on 14 June, PCHR denounces the summons of several Fatah activists to the internal security forces offices in Gaza’s Deir al Balah. The Fatah activists included Rami Jamal Azara, 35; Ali Hassan al-Tahrawi, 45, both from al-Boreij refugee camp; and Saeed Mohammed al-Saftawi, from the Nussairat refugee camp. In their interrogation in the internal security services the activists were asked about their activities in Fatah prior to signing of the reconciliation agreement and about Fatah internal elections.

According to PCHR, parallel oppression of activists identified with the Hamas by the Fatah ruling apparatus also continues in the West Bank.

ON 13 June, families of prisoners detained by the West Bank PA security services conducted a protest in Nablus, with parliament members affiliated with the Hamas party taking part.

PCHR reports that police officers dispersed the demonstration with the contention it was conducted without the requisite permission. Palestinian Legislative Council Member Muna Mansour from the Change and Reform Bloc was attacked by female police officers, as was her daughter, journalist Ibtihal Mansour. Police officers confiscated the mobile phone of journalist Mansour and were prevented from confiscating her camera only through the intervention of other PLC members present on the scene.

Translated to English by the Alternative Information Center (AIC)

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