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Fatah military wing urges Hamas to release detainees

Jan. 11, 2013 3:49 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 12, 2013 6:11 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Fatah's armed wing on Friday called on Hamas to release all prisoners from the movement jailed in Gaza, a statement said.

The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades urged the Islamist group to release all Fatah detainees and end the division, adding that armed struggle is the right way to liberate Palestine.

The group also said that Hamas' decision this week to sentence jailed Fatah leader Zaki al-Sakani to 15 years in prison "reinforced" the division between the factions.

Al-Sakani was accused by Hamas of terrorism and illegally possessing explosives and weapons, charges Fatah's military wing denies.

Israeli intelligence had tried to hunt him down through several targeted assassinations, including one which injured him in Gaza City while he was launching mortar shells at an Israeli settlement in 2005.

In November, both Fatah and Hamas announced that they would release political detainees as a goodwill gesture to boost reconciliation efforts, although both factions have yet to follow through on their statements.
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