GAZA, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- A senior official of the Palestinian Fatah
movement said on Monday the release of Palestinian political prisoners, held by
his movement in West Bank and by rival Hamas faction in the Gaza Strip, must be
"The parties to the conflict, Hamas and Fatah, must mutually free the
political prisoners," said Nabil Shaath, a member of Fatah delegation to an
The Egyptian-hosted Palestinian reconciliation talks will kick off on
Wednesday to reconcile Hamas and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah
Shaath noted that his movement will not give up its members held by Hamas
in the Gaza Strip, "but will discuss this issue once it meets Hamas on the table
He added that Fatah will not follow Hamas' steps which put the release of
the prisoners in the West Bank as a condition to join the dialogue.
Since Hamas routed pro-Abbas forces and took control of Gaza in2007, the
two sides cracked down against their political dissidents, namely Hamas
supporters in the West Bank and Fatah members in the Gaza Strip.