Monday, 15 December 2014

Hamas leader: Too soon to discuss prisoner swap

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Senior Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzouq says it's still early to talk about a prisoner exchange deal with Israel, and Hamas will not consider one until Israel implements a ceasefire deal.

Abu Marzouq told Ma'an TV in an interview airing Monday that reconciliation with Fatah depended on a decision from President Mahmoud Abbas and the will to "immediately implement it" when he says to do so.

The official also said that a unified political decision is needed to set the date and mechanism for Palestinian elections, adding that the Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah's unity government is the "only choice."

Abu Marzouq added that Hamas still remains strong in the West Bank, and that it had the support of Palestinians. more

Israeli forces fire tear gas in Nablus school

Israeli soldiers surrounded a high school near Nablus on Monday and fired gunshots and tear gas canisters into the yard, a local official said.

Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, said hundreds of children were trapped in the secondary school in Burin as Israeli forces fired tear gas and stun grenades outside.

Witnesses said they also fired gunshots in the air.

The Israeli liaison department notified its Palestinian counterpart that Israeli soldiers raided the school after youths from the village threw stones and empty bottles at settler vehicles on a nearby main road. more