Hamas, Fatah supporters still targeted amid reconciliation
Despite agreement in Cairo by Abbas and Mashaal to release political detainees, Hamas officials reveal PA security forces arrest, summon supporters; Fatah supporters ‘picked up’ in Gaza Strip.
One week after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal announced they have agreed to “open a new page” in their relations, Hamas and Fatah complained Wednesday that their supporters were still being targeted in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Following the Cairo summit between Abbas and Mashaal, representatives of the two rival parties said that that the two men agreed to release all “political detainees” held by the PA in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
Hamas officials revealed that the PA security forces have arrested or summoned for interrogation 23 supporters of the Islamist movement in the past few days in violation of the understandings reached between Abbas and Mashaal. Half of the detainees were rounded up in the past 48 hours, the officials said.
On Thursday, families and relatives of scores of detainees held in PA prisons will stage a sit-in strike in Hebron to demand the release of their sons.
Hamas also accused the PA government of firing a number of civil servants for allegedly being affiliated with the movement.
Most of the arrests in the West Bank were carried out by the PA’s General Intelligence Service and the Preventive Security Force.