Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Exclusive: Haniyeh's political advisor tells Ma'an about Hamas' plans for Gaza and hopes for Barghouthi's release

"Bethlehem – Ma'an – Exclusive – "I hope that Israel will release Fatah leader, Marwan Barghouthi, because both Fatah and the homeland need him," Ismail Haniyeh's political advisor, Ahmad Yousef, told Ma'an on Wednesday.

"Marwan is a significant leader and a decent struggler as well as a nationalistic symbol badly needed at this critical stage," he added.

Yousef also briefed Ma'an on Hamas future plans for the Gaza Strip, which he reported as follows:

1. Palestinian police are to maintain law and order in the strip; Hamas believe that a few traffic policemen are enough to manage an entire city and nothing now stands in the way of the policemen performing their duties.

2. The Palestinian flag will be raised above all institutions and replace any other flags.

3. There are plans for wide scale reconciliations between warring families and to spread a culture of tolerance instead of revenge.

4. A general amnesty has been announced by Hamas and security services officers were publicly forgiven for crimes against Hamas.

5. Employees of the Palestinian Broadcasting Company can resume their work. When asked about directors and media officials of the Palestinian Authority, Yousef said he was unsure whether they can resume usual activity.

6. Illegal arms are withdrawn. Yousef said, "We are collecting the security forces' weapons. Hamas is collecting all illegal arms."

Ma'an asked why Kalashnikovs have been confiscated from Fatah members. Yousef said "arms are to remain with the legal forces and the government's arms must be restored." "

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