Saturday, April 11, 2009

Hamas insists on its demands for prisoner-swap deal

Saturday April 11, 2009 00:23 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies

Osama Al Mazeeny, a senior leader of the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, stated that his movement insists that its demands on a prisoner-swap deal be met but welcomes any mediation which could lead to a deal based on the just demands of the resistance.

Usama Al Mazeeny - Image
Usama Al Mazeeny - Image

“We want the release of 450 detainees sentenced to high terms”, Al Mazeeny stated, “this is a unique opportunity and our demands are fixed”.

He also stated that the resistance wants the release of Arab and Palestinian detainees, including detainees who are Arab residents of Israel.

Al Mazeeny further said that Hamas welcomes international mediation to achieve a deal but will not ask any party to intervene. “If Germany and France want to offer mediation, we will not say no”, he said.

Commenting on internal talks, Al Mazeeny said that unity is a national demand, and that his movement will not allow chaos in Gaza.

He also said that the issue is about forming a government that acts which acts to ease the suffering of the residents. “It does not have to be a unity government, it could be a government of coherence between the factions”, he stated.

“Hamas cannot and will not abandon its beliefs, Fateh will not do so too”, Al Mazeeny said, “but the two movements can have coherence for the sake of the Palestinian people”.

He also said that the international community is starting to change its ideas about Hamas, and added that this is happening due to the steadfastness of the movement.

“Hamas does not oppose talks, but it will not abandon the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people”, he said, “The United States is held hostage with its strategic relation with the occupation”.