Khaled Mashaal
Photo: AFP

Report: Khaled Mashaal to escort prisoners expelled to Syria

London's Al-Hayat newspaper says top Hamas officials to personally escort 40 Palestinian prisoners slated for expulsion to Damascus

The London-based Arabic-language newspaper Al-Hayat reported Tuesday that a Hamas delegation led by Politburo Chief Khaled Mashaal arrived in Cairo to greet the 40 Palestinian prisoners who are set to be expelled to Syria as part of the outline stated in the Shalit prisoner swap.


According to the report, once the prisoners arrive in Cairo, they will be flown to Damascus, where Hamas will hold a special ceremony in their honor; prior to their departure to Qatar and Turkey. Ceremonies are expected to be held in those to countries as well.


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A Palestinian source told the newspaper that Israel would not allow the prisoners in question to remain in Egypt, fearing that they would try to infiltrate back into Gaza.


Al-Hayat further reported that the prisoners returning to the West Bank will be subjected to precautionary security screenings.


  • For full coverage of the Shalit prisoner exchange click here


Top Politburo delegate in Gaza Mahmoud al-Zahar, who is in Egypt, told the UK paper that the wife of Abdullah Barghouti – a Hamas prisoner serving 67 life sentences who was excluded form the deal – contacted him and asked for his help in improving the prisoners' conditions in Israeli jails.


Al-Zahar said that Hamas maintains "channels of communication" with several UN bodies which were working to lift Israel's blockade of Gaza, but denied that the subject was part of the Shalit deal outline.


The paper further noted that Khaled Mashaal was scheduled to visit Jordan later this week, in an effort to rehabilitate the movement's shaky relations with the Hashemite Kingdom. Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the Emir of Qatar, is expected to accompany him.




פרסום ראשון: 10.18.11, 04:48
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