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Hamas alleges PA arrests aim to 'eradicate' the movement

July 7, 2015 8:11 P.M. (Updated: July 21, 2015 12:39 P.M.)
Palestinian security forces take part in a training session ahead of an arrest operation against Hamas members in the city of Nablus on July 6, 2015. (AFP/Jaafar Ashtiyeh)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Hamas accused the Palestinian Authority (PA) of executing a plan to "eradicate" the movement from the West Bank, saying Tuesday that an arrest campaign carried out by the PA is targeting reconciliation efforts between the two factions.

Hamas leader Abd al-Rahman Shadid said in a press conference that "the arrest campaign carried out by the PA against Hamas leaders and members comes under an organized project aiming to eradicate the movement."

He alleged that more than 200 Hamas members had been arrested by PA security forces since July 2, with most of them left severely tortured.

Shadid said that the campaign hinders efforts towards Palestinian reconciliation and is pushing the Hamas movement to reevaluate its stand towards past reconciliation agreements.

He added that the campaign will not succeed in providing security for Israel or weakening Hamas.

President Mahmoud Abbas was "entirely responsible for these maniacal arrests and the Hamas eradication project to the benefit of the occupier (Israel)," Shadid said, speaking of "limits to the people's patience."

The PA had not immediately responded to the claims, though one of its officials confirmed last week about 100 Hamas members had been arrestedover alleged plans to attack the PA.

PA security spokesman Adnan Dmeiri on Sunday accused Hamas of seeking to create instability in the West Bank while maintaining a ceasefire with Israel in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri called the allegations a "cover for political arrests," and "an attempt break the stalemate of negotiations and pay court to (the Israeli) occupation."

'Minimizing chances of success'

Shadid's statement was the latest sign of failed reconciliation efforts between Hamas, the movement that rules the Gaza Strip, and the PA, which runs the West Bank, despite a unity deal signed last year.

A Palestinian unity agreement signed in April 2014 sought to end years of bad blood between Fatah, Abbas' party, and Hamas.

A unity government of technocrats was formed as a result, approved by both sides, but has been ineffective and essentially barred from operating in Gaza, leaving Hamas in charge of the impoverished coastal enclave, which is under a strict Israeli blockade.

Last week the PLO appointed a committee to consult all Palestinian factions on forming a new unity government, after the current government proved incapable of overcoming divisive issues.

The consultations have yielded little consensus thus far and received criticism by non-Fatah factions, who convened on Sunday to condemn the recent PA arrests as hindering the negotiation process.

Hamas has largely rejected the Fatah-led PLO takeover of the government forming process. Senior Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzouk said last week that Hamas would reject any reshuffle without the consensus of all political parties, and that the PLO is the wrong body to be forming a government.

A senior Islamic Jihad leader, Khalid al-Batsh, said on Monday that the recent detentions made by the PA were minimizing chances of success for a national consensus government and would never be an appropriate means for maintaining peace.

The detentions since the start of the month come as Hamas also accuses the PA of acting on Israel's behalf through security cooperation.

The PA and Israeli security forces have coordinated operations since the Oslo Accords in 1993, which planned for a gradual power transfer in the occupied West Bank from Israeli forces to the PA over the course of five years.

More than 20 years on, however, Hamas and other factions continue to accuse the PA of aligning with Israel's goals in the occupied West Bank.

AFP contributed to this report.
Comments
Tobias / USA
-1- Hamas would eradicate the PLO from the West Bank, just as it did from the Gaza Strip, ISIS would eradicate all non-Muslim governments too, so
-2- The PA's aim should be to "Eradicate The Hamas Movement", just as the world's aim should be to Eradicate the new "Islamic State" !!
07/07/2015 21:45
Tibi / Tubas
-1- The PA should have "organized a project aiming to eradicate the Hamas movement", before it lost control of the Gaza Strip to Hamas, and
-2- The PA leaders learned this costly and bloody Gaza Coup lesson well, and are now acting before they lose control of the West Bank Areas A-B to Hamas !!
08/07/2015 02:32
Outlier / USA
Hyperbole, a Hamas specialty.
10/07/2015 18:31
Rami / Palestine
@tobias, yes let's eradicate our own people to continue to play the role of the west's lap dog. The PA has no integrity whatsoever. It'll sell it's own people in order to continue to be in favor by the U.S., EU,and Israel and this is not myth. The PA has already sold the rights of its people.
12/07/2015 10:52
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