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Hamas praises Houthis for offer to free Palestinian prisoners from Saudi Arabia

March 28, 2020 at 10:34 am

Head of the Political Bureau of Hamas Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza City, Gaza on 2 September 2019 [Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu Agency]

The Palestinian resistance group Hamas has praised the initiative by the Iran-backed Houthi militia to convince Saudi Arabia to release Palestinian detainees.

The offer presented to the kingdom by the Houthi leader Abdulmalik Al-Houthi stated that they are prepared to release a number of captured Saudis – one pilot and four soldiers – in return for the kingdom’s release of Hamas members who have been detained.

A statement issued by Hamas last night confirmed that: “Hamas has followed with interest the much-appreciated initiative launched by Abdulmalik Al-Houthi on Thursday evening, regarding the exchange of prisoners in their possession for the release of Palestinian detainees in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

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It added that: “We highly value the spirit of fraternity and sympathy for the Palestinian people and support their steadfastness and resistance, and we express our thanks for this interest and initiative.”

Hamas has long campaigned for the release of Palestinian detainees and Hamas members imprisoned within Saudi Arabia, and particularly urged for their release after it was revealed that the kingdom was to prosecute the Palestinian prisoners earlier this month after accusing them of funding terrorist activities. This week, the head of Hamas’ political bureau Ismail Haniyeh called on Saudi King Salman to release them. On Wednesday it was reported that Hamas representatives were in talks with top Saudi officials over their release.

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The group’s statement made reference to this, confirming that it: “Spared no efforts in communicating with the Saudi leadership for nearly a year, the latest of which was the call of the head of the movement’s political office, Brother Mujahid Ismail Haniyeh, to the King of Saudi Arabia, King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz, to release Palestinian detainees who did not harm the kingdom, and respected the principles of hospitality in a brother country without compensation or condition, there was no sin committed and no crime committed.”

The statement concluded that: “The question of Palestine was, and will remain, the overarching issue of our Arab Islamic nation, and we call on all to unify their efforts to support the Palestinian people and their just cause, hoping the unity of our nation and gathering its rank.”