Monday, January 30, 2006


Fatah and Hamas unite to demand release of US, British and Canadian hostages

At what I believe is the first joint press conference of Fatah and Hamas since the Legislative Assembly election, both groups demanded the release of Christian Peacemaker Team people who are hostages in Iraq. Tom Fox from the USA, Norman Kember from the UK, as well as Harmeet Sodeen and James Loney from Canada are being detained in Iraq. The group that has kindnaped them is demanding the release of Iraqi people incarcirated by the occupation.

Dr. Mahmoud Rahmahi (below), newly elected member of the legislative council representing Hamas mentioned the four activists one by one saying "Our friend from the United States Tom Fox, our friend from the UK Norman Kember..." He had no prejudice from where these people came from because "these people supported us against the occupation"

The same statement was then read out in arabic by Abdel Aziz Ahmad, newly elected member of the legislative council representing Hamas. Azam Al Ahmad, the former Palestinian Ambassador to Iraq and Fatah representitive as well as Abu Hassan, representing the Muslim scientists (Rabata Olama Al Muslimin) also called for the release of the four people (or so I was told as it was all in Arabic and this time I didn't get the english translation)

Jerry Levin a current CPT delegate who was held hostage for a year by Hezbollah in Lebanon called for the four mens release "in the interest of the Palestinian People and in the interest of the Iraqi people."

Tyseer Tamimi, Imam of the Al Aqsa Mosque, wanted to be there but was delayed for 2 hours at an Israeli checkpoint. Another example of a peaceful symbolic act of unity being hampered by the occupation.

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