Palestinian Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh yesterday urged Hamas to release the 83 political detainees held by the movement in the Gaza Strip.
“In compliance with the presidential decree issued by His Excellency President Mahmoud Abbas to boost public freedoms, we demand the release of all the political detainees in the Gaza Strip,” Shtayyeh said in opening remarks during the cabinet meeting in Ramallah.
The Palestinian premier assured that there were “no political detainees” held by the Palestinian Authority’s security apparatus in the West Bank.
“The [PA] government will do its utmost to ensure the success of the democratic union, which will be held on the basis of public freedoms, pluralism and national partnership,” he added in reference to the legislative and presidential elections scheduled in May and July.
Earlier on Saturday, Abbas issued a special decree calling to reinforce public freedoms in the West Bank and Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip ahead of the parliamentary and presidential elections scheduled for 22 May and 31 July.
In response to Shtayyah’s call, Gaza’s Ministry of Interior denied holding any political detainees.
“All the detainees and prisoners in Hamas prisons have been convicted of criminal or security offenses,” the ministry said in a statement.