GAZA, June 22 (RIA Novosti) - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has ordered the release of Hamas members from prison in the West Bank, senior Fatah figure Azam al-Ahmed said on Monday.
Radical Islamic group Hamas has said that more than 400 of its members are in prison in the West Bank.
Al-Ahmed said that all Hamas prisoners would be released with the exception of those who "pose a threat to public security." The exact number to be released has not been disclosed.
"This move is intended to pave the atmosphere for the upcoming national unity talks in Cairo," al-Ahmed was quoted by the Palestinian Maan News Agency as saying. Inter-Palestinian talks are slated for July 7.
Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip in June 2007, pushing the pro-presidential Fatah movement out after a series of clashes.