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Hamas, Fatah discuss ending mutual crackdown on supporters
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10:15, April 12, 2009

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Hamas and Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement talked about ending cracking down against each other's in Gaza Strip and the West Bank, a Fatah official said on Saturday.

"Fatah delegation agreed with Hamas on the necessity of ending the political arrests in the Gaza Strip and West Bank," Ibraheem Abu al-Najja, Fatah representative in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, told local radio Saturday morning.

The meeting was held on Wednesday after Abbas sent two Fatah envoys to the Gaza Strip for the first time since Hamas routed his forces and ousted his movement in deadly fighting in 2007.

"We demanded Hamas to release our prisoners here while Hamas demanded the release of its supporters in the West Bank," according to Abu al-Najja. "The politically-motivated arrests are rejected."

Meanwhile, Abu al-Najja also said the Gaza meetings were not an alternative to the broader inter-Palestinian dialogue that Egypt hosts and sponsors.

"There would be no objection to discuss how to get out from the outstanding issues," he added.

The Palestinian factions will return to continue the dialogue in Cairo later this month, trying to agree on a political program of a unity government that would restore political unity to the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

Source: Xinhua



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