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PA Foreign Minister Al-Malki emphasizes that he welcomed the prisoner exchange deal and blessed it

PA Foreign Minister defends himself against Hamas statement against him the previous day, following his criticism of some of the publicized details of the Shalit prisoner exchange deal.
"[Riyad] Al-Maliki: I did not cast doubt on the exchange deal – those criticizing me are selective"
     "Foreign Minister Dr. Riyad Al-Maliki told MAAN [News] Agency that he had not cast doubt on the prisoner exchange deal, but rather blessed it…
Al-Maliki added: '… We welcome the deal and congratulate our people and the prisoners on their departure [from prison]… but we remember that there are still 5,000 prisoners whom we must act to release, and that the honorable President [Abbas] said that there will not be peace until the Israeli prisons are emptied of the prisoners of freedom.'
… Hamas leader Ismail Radwan said that the prisoners who are to be expelled from the country following their release will return to Gaza 'later', in response to a statement attributed to Al-Maliki, who criticized [Hamas'] agreement to having the prisoners expelled.
Radwan told Agence France-Presse that Al-Maliki's words 'departed from the national context, which celebrates the great historical achievement of the resistance…' and stated that the prisoners to be released out of the country 'are few in number; they are only 5% of the whole deal. They will be expelled with their personal agreement, and out of their own pure free will.' He added that 'these expelled prisoners will have the possibility of choosing to return, afterwards, to Gaza, when they so choose. The rest of the expellees will be transferred to Gaza, which is a liberated part of the homeland.'
Radwan stated that 'the prisoners who received long [prison] sentences, had two possibilities: either to remain in prison until death, or to be released within the framework of the deal, with a small number of them expelled, and they are coming out in order to realize their right to resistance, [and to continue] their struggle.' Radwan said that the PA had agreed in the past to the expulsion of the detainees from the Church of the Nativity in 2002. On the other hand, Radwan said that 'the resistance has broken Zionist red lines, forcing the enemy to release prisoners from occupied Jerusalem and the Golan [Heights] and the Palestinian territories occupied in 1948 (i.e. from inside Israel), and the prisoners who carried out suicide attacks against Zionists.'
[Radwan] emphasized that the agreement to exchange the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit for 1,027 [Palestinian prisoners] 'is a station on the path of the struggle, and we will continue the path up until the release of the very last prisoner. The resistance promises to continue its path using all available means, in order to release the 6,000 prisoners.'"

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