Fatah says its council members barred from leaving Hamas-ruled Gaza

21:05, April 23, 2010      

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party on Friday accused Islamic Hamas movement, which rules the Gaza Strip, of barring Fatah revolutionary council members from leaving the enclave.

Salah Abu Khatlah, a Fatah leader in the West Bank, told Bethlehem-based Maan news agency that Hamas refused the exit of the Gaza-based revolutionary council members to leave Gaza to join a meeting in the West Bank on Saturday.

Fatah's revolutionary council will convene on Saturday in the West Bank city of Ramallah, according to Fatah officials. The council was elected in Bethlehem last August.

"Fatah and other factions exerted efforts to pressure Hamas to enable around 30 revolutionary council members in the Gaza Strip to leave to attend the West Bank meeting," said Abu Khatlah.

The revolutionary council of Fatah movement is seen as the parliament of the movement, while the central committee is considered the movement's cabinet.

Hamas has been seizing control of the Gaza Strip since it took it by force in June 2007, following two weeks of bloody armed clashes with Abbas' security forces and his Fatah party militants.

Earlier, Fatah revolutionary council member Fahi al-Za'areer said in a press release sent to Xinhua that the council will hold its regular meeting on Saturday in the presence of Fatah central committee.

"The council will discuss a series of files and issues related to the internal national situation as well as the current political situation in the region," said al-Za'areer.

Source: Xinhua


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