(source: Palestine Information Center)
GAZA, (PIC)– Dr. Moussa Abu Marzouk, the deputy head of Hamas political bureau, stated Wednesday that the release of 20 Palestinian women in exchange for a videotape on Israeli captive soldier Gilad Shalit is a good step towards the release of all female detainees from Israeli jails.
“No doubt that the news which has been spread is correct and there will be more details on Thursday or Friday,” Dr. Abu Marzouk emphasized.
For his part, Osama Al-Muzaini, a senior Hamas official, said that this deal was the result of ongoing meetings with the German mediator, expressing hope to reach a swap deal in the near future leading to the release of more Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails in exchange for Shalit.
Muzaini, who is in charge of the prisoner swap file, explained that this deal came after his Movement refused to fulfil a request made by the German mediator for giving him free information on Shalit and told him that nothing free could be provided in this regard. In the same context, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told a news conference held today in Gaza that the inclusion of female prisoners from different political affiliations in this partial deal confirms Hamas credibility and its religious and moral commitment to dealing with the issue of prisoners away from any narrow partisan considerations. The spokesman hailed this partial deal as a great achievement and pride for Al-Qassam Brigades and all resistance forces involved. Spokesman Abu Zuhri said that his Movement is keen on achieving a comprehensive swap deal as soon as possible, pointing out that the contacts and negotiations in this regard are still ongoing on a daily basis sometimes. He noted that a delegation of Hamas met with officials from the Red Cross in Gaza and handed them a list of prisoners’ names whom Israel agreed to release. For his part, Palestinian minister of prisoners’ affairs Faraj Al-Ghoul hailed Israel’s approval to release 20 Palestinian women from its jails as a victory for the resistance. In a press release, Ghoul pointed out that Israel, through the German mediator, agreed to release 20 female prisoners including four from Hamas, five from Fatah, three from Islamic Jihad, one from the Popular Frond and seven others with no political affiliation. He added that the prisoners also include a Palestinian mother called Fatima Al-Zaq and her one-year old child who was born 20 months ago in Israeli jails. For their part, the family of prisoner Fatima Al-Zaq expressed its pride for the big victory achieved by the Palestinian resistance spearheaded by Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, and its success in achieving this deal. Bilal, Al-Zaq’s son, said in a press statement to the Palestinian information center (PIC) that an atmosphere of great happiness and joy spread in the house after hearing Al-Qassam Brigades in the news announce that his mother among other prisoners would be released from Israeli jails next Friday. For his part, Dr. Abdelsattar Qassem, a professor of political sciences at Al-Najah university in Nablus, said the Palestinian resistance’s refusal to give information on Shalit without any price reflected its professionalism and a major development in its style. “We feel optimistic when we see a kind of new professionalism and this a major development in the style of the resistance, Dr. Qassem underlined. The Islamic Jihad Movement also hailed in a press statement to the PIC this deal as a real achievement made by the Palestinian resistance and a promising step towards the release of all Palestinian women from Israel jails.
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