Ma'an News Agency
August 31, 2009 - 12:00am

Hamas hinted on Monday that Fatah officials who have been in the West Bank for their party’s recent convention might not be allowed to return to the Gaza Strip.

“The Gaza Strip is accessible for all Palestinian people, but officially and in coordination with the government in Gaza. It is not accessible for those who violated the law and coordinated with occupation,” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum told Ma’an.

Barhoum’s comments came in response to an announcement by Azzam Al-Ahmad, the head of Fatah’s parliamentary bloc that Gazan members of Fatah’s Central Committee will head to Gaza soon.

With regards to future unity negotiations with Fatah, Barhoum said, “The date of the next round was not confirmed. Egypt will release a draft about the unresolved topics for Hamas and Fatah to discuss.”

Hamas officially barred some 300 Fatah members from leaving Gaza for the conference in the West Bank city of Bethlehem. An unknown number managed to sneak out of Gaza and attend the summit alongside another 2,000 delegates from across the world.

Hamas said it was preventing the Fatah members from travelling in order to pressure the Palestinian Authority to release members of the Islamic movement from prison.


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