Dr. Nabil Shaath, a Member of Fatah’s Central Committee, stated that the Hamas government in Gaza will be releasing Fatah political prisoners in the coming days, and will also re-open Fatah headquarters it had previously shut down. Following a Monday evening meeting with Arab League Secretary-General, Amro Mousa, Shaath stated that the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank is working on allowing fuel supplies into the Gaza Strip, and that Prime Minister, Dr. Salam Fayyad, is personally working on easing Israel’s siege on the coastal region.

He added that Fatah is conducting what he called “goodwill moves” to encourage Hamas to sign the Egyptian document for Palestinian unity.

Shaath demanded that Hamas sign the document before the reconciliation committee can convene again, and added that Fatah wants Egypt to help in implementing the deal.

Regarding his recent visit to Gaza, the first since the internal Hamas-Fatah June 2007 conflict, Shaath said that his visit aims at attempting to reduce the gap between the two movements and achieving reconciliation.

He further stated that achieving reconciliation before the Arab summit convenes this coming March will enable the Palestinians to ask the Arab countries for political support, and to act on lifting the siege.

“An agreement will enable us to ask them for further support to counter the occupation and protect Jerusalem,” he added.

Shaath also said that he and Mousa discussed the stalled peace process, and the outcome of the visit of US Middle East Peace Envoy, Senator George Mitchell.

Shaath told Mousa that full Arab support, in all aspects, is needed to boost the steadfastness of the peace talks with Israel and to countering the Israeli violations.