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Hamdallah: Prisoner ministry replaced by committee

June 2, 2014 8:57 P.M. (Updated: June 4, 2014 8:25 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah confirmed Monday that the Ministry of Prisoner Affairs will be replaced by a committee to be headed by Shawqi al-Ayasa.

The dissolution of the ministry had been a considerable point of contention in the run-up to announcing a unity government, with Hamas officials calling it a "stab in the back" for Palestinian prisoners and hunger strikers.

Al-Ayasa, who is also the minister of agriculture and social affairs, will head the committee.

Hamdallah stressed that the issue of prisoners is a national issue important to all parties.

Palestinian officials said this week that the US could withdraw funding from the PA if the ministry was not dissolved.

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