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 mutual.
"The parties to the conflict, Hamas and Fatah, must mutually free the political prisoners," said Nabil Shaath, a member of Fatah delegation to an inter-Palestinian dialogue.
The Egyptian-hosted Palestinian reconciliation talks will kick off on Wednesday to reconcile Hamas and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement.
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 of dialogue.
" 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 in 2007, the two sides cracked down against their political dissidents, namely Hamas supporters in the West Bank and Fatah members in the Gaza Strip.