De facto Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh announced on Tuesday that his Gaza administration will release 100 prisoners ahead of the Eid Al-Adha holiday which begins on Thursday.
In a statement Haniyeh’s government said the prisoners slated for release were arrested on “criminal” charges.
It was unclear if the decision was related to reports that Haniyeh planned to release members of the rival Fatah movement in a gesture of political goodwill. Yasser Wadiyeh, an independent official involved in mediating between Hamas and Fatah, said that Haniyeh made this commitment in a meeting with a group of political independents.
During its meeting in Gaza on Tuesday, the de facto government cabinet also decreed that Thursday through Tuesday will be days of for Eid Al-Adha.
Haniyeh’s cabinet also urged the rival government in Ramallah to lift what it termed a “prohibition on resistance,” referring to the Palestinian Authority’s arrests of fighters involved in armed resistance to occupation. “Resistance,” the de facto government said, is a natural response to oppressive Israeli polices in Jerusalem.
Haniyeh also spoke positively about a delegation of Syrian television actors who visited Gaza earlier this week. The government called for solidarity delegations to continue visiting Gaza until Israel lifts the siege of the territory.