Hamas slams Fatah prisoner release

Aug. 19, 2008 at 2:19 PM
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JERUSALEM, Aug. 19 (UPI) -- Hamas gave a cold shoulder Tuesday to Israel's plan to release 200 prisoners from rival Fatah.

A senior Hamas official told a British Arabic newspaper that the goodwill gesture to the Palestinian Authority was a "saddening" development in which prisoners were released based on their affiliations.

"We, in Hamas, got the message and will act accordingly despite the fact that until now, our policy regarding prisoner releases was unrelated to political factional membership," Mahmoud Zahar told Al-Quds.

The Jerusalem Post said Zahar's statement indicated a possible additional complication in Israel's efforts to gain the release of captured soldier Gilad Schalit.

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