Ramallah, Asharq Al-Awsat- Sources within the Palestinian Authority’s security apparatus have revealed to Asharq Al-Awsat that Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, intends on freeing political prisoners affiliated with the Hamas movement who are currently held by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, except those who are considered “dangerous”.
The sources added that leaders of the security devices in the West Bank did not receive official orders to release the political prisoners of Hamas, but said that Abbas is considering their release after he comes back from his expected visit to the United States.
The move was described as an act of good will towards Hamas. But, “dangerous” prisoners will not be released as the P.A fears they would carry out attacks against Israel.
Meanwhile, sources within the Hamas movement told Asharq Al-Awsat that President Abbas did inform Palestinian factions of his intention of releasing hundreds of Hamas prisoners in the West Bank, but that the president’s office had yet to make an official announcement.
Asharq Al-Awsat has learned that the Palestinian Authority reject the release of Hamas members who were accused of “money laundering” and those who are accused of forming armed cells.
Some leaders of Fatah are pushing towards releasing Hamas political prisoners in the West Bank, while others want guarantees that Hamas will release Fatah political prisoners in Gaza.
Different Palestinian factions have been demanding Hamas and Fatah to release all political prisoners and engage in talks that would lead to reconciliation between the two movements. Hamas said it will not hold talks with Fatah before all of its prisoners are released from Fatah controlled prisons.