Dr. Aziz Dweik, elected head of the Palestinian Legislative Council, stated that national reconciliation is a main demand the Palestinians want to achieve, and added that President Mahmoud Abbas is insisting on finalizing the elections file before other files an issue that would “obstruct reconciliation between Fateh and Hamas”.Dweik, head of the Change and Reform Bloc of the Hamas movement, that garnered an overwhelming victory in the 2006 elections, stated that the Palestinian people are aspiring full and comprehensive unity and reconciliation, and will never abandon their internationally-guaranteed rights of liberation and independence.

He added that reconciliation is a top priority right now so that the Palestinians can benefit “from the victory the resistance achieved in Gaza” and the fact the Palestine achieved a nonmember observer state status at the United Nations General Assembly.

His statements came as President Abbas and Hamas’ Political Bureau chief, Khaled Mashal, met in Cairo while senior Fateh and Hamas officials are planning to hold a series of meetings, mediated by Egypt, in an effort to implement the unity agreement on the ground.

Dr. Dweik was kidnapped and imprisoned by Israel at least six times, including when he was kidnapped on June 29 2006, and spent three years in Administrative Detention until he was released on June 23 2009.

He was also kidnaped January 19 2012, as he was trying to cross the Jaba’ roadblock, north of occupied Jerusalem. He was heading back home in Hebron when he was stopped at the Jaba’ roadblock while leaving the central West Bank city of Ramallah. He was released on Thursday July 19, 2012, after spending six months under administrative detention without charges.

There are currently 22 elected legislators from the occupied West Bank and occupied Jerusalem who are still imprisoned by Israel. 15 of them are of the Change and Reform Bloc of Hamas, including Dr. Dweik.

Fateh leader, legislator Marwan Barghouthi, and secretary-general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Ahmad Saadat, are also imprisoned by Israel and serving life terms. There are approximately 26 legislators currently detained by Israel.