Mar 27, 2020 16:45 UTC
  • Hamas welcomes Ansarullah’s initiative on releasing Saudi inmates in exchange for Palestinians

Hamas has praised an offer by the leader of Yemen’s Ansarullah movement to free several Saudi captives in exchange for the release of members of the Palestinian resistance movement currently being held in the kingdom.

According to reports, Hamas, in a statement released late on Thursday, stated that it “followed with interest the appreciated initiative announced by Abdul-Malik al-Houthi in a televised speech broadcast live from the Yemeni capital Sana’a, which marked the fifth anniversary of the Saudi-led aggression against its impoverished Arab country.

The Palestinian resistance movement then thanked Ansarullah for “the spirit of brotherhood and solidarity with Palestinian people.”

Hamas also reiterated its call on Saudi authorities to release all Palestinian prisoners, “on top of whom is Dr. Muhammad al-Khudari.”

The Palestinian movement noted that it has been contacting the Saudi leadership throughout last year in a bid to reach a deal on the release of Palestinian prisoners.

Hamas concluded its statement by assuring that the Palestinian cause will thrive, calling upon Muslims worldwide to support the Palestinian people and their righteous cause.

“We are fully prepared to release one of the captured pilots along with four Saudi officers and soldiers,” Houthi said in a televised speech on Thursday afternoon.

“This will be in exchange for the release of those from Hamas arrested in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

Palestinian families and human rights groups have called on Saudi authorities to immediately release the Palestinians, citing the threat posed by the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the highly contagious new coronavirus.

“We renew our call on the Saudi authorities to release all Palestinian prisoners in Saudi Arabia. Most of them suffer from chronic diseases and need medication on a regular basis. The lack of health care in the prisons threatens their lives,” they said in a joint press statement.

“In light of the intensified spread of coronavirus around the world, we ask the Saudi authorities to consider the release of these detainees in accordance with the Amnesty International's directives,” the statement added.

Families of the detainees, some of whom are in their 80s, say the Palestinians have been denied access to lawyers and visitation rights, and authorities have recently begun reducing phone call access.

Last month, the Prisoners of Conscience, a non-governmental organization advocating human rights in Saudi Arabia, announced in a post on its official Twitter page that Saudi authorities had launched a new campaign of "arbitrary" arrests against Palestinian expatriates living in the kingdom on charges of supporting Hamas.