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Hamas: PA must release prisoners

Dec. 2, 2010 8:59 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 3, 2010 1:55 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A Hamas official in Gaza called on the rival Fatah movement in the West Bank to release alleged political prisoners from Palestinian Authority prisoners Thursday.

Spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri reiterated accusations that the PA has tortured Hamas members in prison. "These acts against our brothers and sisters are unpatriotic," he said.

"The number of prisoners in the PA jails had reached 2,822 prisoners during the year 2010 including 75 prisoners released from Israeli jails," he said at a news conference.

"Prisoners of the Jericho prison declared an open hunger strike in protest of their arrest, torture, trials lacking for any national or legal basis," he said.

Abu Zuhri also reiterated calls for the PA to release Tamam Abu Saud, the Hamas member who was arrested in connection with an alleged plot to assassinate the governor of Nablus. Hamas has alleged that the PA tortured Abu Soud, a charge the PA denies.

Abu Zuhri said the PA has arrested both Abu Saud and her son, while the Israeli army arrested her other son, a fact he said was evidence of security cooperation between the PA and Israel.

He said Fatah's rhetorical commitment to reconciliation with Hamas was nothing more than political "cover in order to continue with these acts and its security cooperation with the occupation."
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