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Hamas Releases Prisoners Accused of Plotting to Assassinate Haniyeh | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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In this January 3, 2011 file photo, then Palestinian Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan gestures as he speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in his office in the West Bank city of Ramallah. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed, File)

Gaza- Hamas security services in the Gaza Strip released three Fatah Movement supporters within the framework of an agreement with the faction of Mohammed Dahlan, a leader dismissed from Fatah, in a sign of consolidated alliance between the two parties.

Well-informed sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that the release was carried out with the approval of Hamas’ politburo and security bodies, although the detainees were arrested and convicted of planning explosions and attacks, including the assassination attempt on Ismail Haniyeh, head of the Hamas politburo, who was then prime minister.

Hamas released Hassan Mohammed al-Zant, Aahed Mohammed Abu Qamar and Subhi Ahmed Abu Dahi, all members of Fatah security services loyal to Dahlan.

“The three detainees have been released as part of the ongoing quest for reconciliation and national consensus, and under the agreements of the Commission on Community Reconciliation,” said Iyad al-Bazm, the Interior Ministry spokesman.

“The Ministry of Interior and National Security always supports every effort aimed at achieving national unity and the interests of our people; we hope that all causes of division will disappear”, he added.

Hamas arrested al-Zant, a resident of al-Shati refugee camp, west of Gaza City, in January 2008.

Hamas Government former Interior Minister Said Siam, who was assassinated by Israel in 2009 in the first Gaza war, revealed the confessions of al-Zant and a group of Fatah elements, and said they planned to kill Haniyeh, noting that al-Zant has received direct orders from Palestinian security leaders in the West Bank.

Aahed Abu Qamar, a resident of the northern Gaza Strip, was detained with a group of Preventive Security forces in February 2015. Hamas said he was planning to carry out bombings in Gaza under the instructions of security leaders in Ramallah.

As for Subhi Abu Dahi, he was arrested in 2016 on charges of forming cells and collaborating with Ramallah. He was a senior lieutenant in the Palestinian Authority.

“The release of the three detainees will be followed by further steps by Hamas, which will allow the return of 90 percent of the people who left Gaza after the events of 2006-2007,” Fatah MP Majed Abu Shamala, a member of the Dahlan faction, said.

This new measure is the second step within community reconciliation efforts launched by Hamas with the Dahlan movement, which started with settling financial dues to the families of victims of Fatah members killed during the violent clashes in 2006-2007.