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Nativity deportees appeal to Abbas ahead of talks

Sept. 13, 2010 4:43 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 15, 2010 2:37 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Nativity Church deportees, exiled by Israel to Gaza and Europe following the siege of the Bethlehem church in 2001, appealed to President Mahmoud Abbas and his Egyptian counterpart on Monday to bring their case up during direct talks.

Deportee spokesman and fellow exile Fahmi Kan'an said they had felt no hope their issue would be solved until it was announced that direct talks were resumed, with its next round to be held in the Egyptian resort town of Sharam Ash-Sheikh on Tuesday.

Kan'an said deportees sent a letter to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, detailing the past nine years in exile and calling on him to actively bring the issue up during talks.

They also called on Abbas to resolve their case and that of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli detention, saying the president was "keen" to resolve these matters.

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