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Hamas: PA detains Palestinians on Israel’s behalf in revolving door policy

April 9, 2016 9:29 P.M. (Updated: April 10, 2016 5:53 P.M.)
Israeli soldiers stand in front of Palestinians during clashes in Bethlehem after the funeral of a 13-year-old on Oct. 6, 2015. (AFP/Thomas Coex)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- The Hamas movement on Saturday charged the Palestinian Authority of adopting a "revolving door policy" that funnels Palestinians from PA jails into Israeli prisons as part of “escalating security collaboration” with the Israeli authorities.

A statement released by the Gaza-based movement said Hamas spokesman Husam Badran slammed the PA the day before, alleging that Israel has detained dozens of Palestinians just after their release from PA jails since a wave of unrest increased in October 2015.

Badran accused the PA of “adopting a revolving door policy, where pro-intifada activists illegally detained by the PA would be released and then arrested by the Israeli occupation shortly after.”

Badran noted in particular two university students from the Islamic Bloc who were reportedly detained by Israel just after being released by the PA.

Badran said that “by such incidents, the PA is betraying the Jerusalem intifada,” using the designation placed by Hamas on the wave of small-scale attacks carried out largely by Palestinian youth on Israeli targets over the past six months.

The spokesperson called on all Palestinian factions to unite against PA security coordination with Israel, in order to “protect resistance in the West Bank.”

An investigation by Israeli rights groups released February documented a number of Palestinians who said they were detained by Israeli forces shortly after being released by the PA, with some testimonies reporting the use of PA interrogation records by Israeli interrogators.

PA security spokesman Adnan Dmeiri told Ma'an at the time that he was not aware of any cases wherein information gathered by Palestinian interrogators had been transferred to Israeli intelligence, emphasizing that the two sides did not cooperate in this way.

The Fatah-dominated PA and Israeli forces have worked in coordination since the Oslo Accords in 1993, which planned for a gradual power transfer of the occupied West Bank from Israeli forces to the PA over the course of five years.

More 20 years on, however, any transfer of power has yet to take place. Saturday’s condemnation is the most recent criticism by Hamas and other groups who repeatedly accuse the PA of aligning with Israel's goals in the occupied West Bank, and recently of preventing a sustained uprising against Israel.

PA security forces have on several occasions over the past six months prevented Palestinians from demonstrating near Israeli military infrastructure, with witnesses as recently as Friday reporting PA forces in plainclothes detaining young Palestinian demonstrators in Bethlehem.

The recent round of condemnation from Hamas comes around a week after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in an interview with Israeli media reiterated his commitment to security coordination with Israel.

Abbas in the interview said such coordination had curbed Palestinian attacks against Israeli targets, and pleaded for the Israeli authorities to stop near-daily Israeli military incursions into Area A, areas of the West Bank under full Palestinian jurisdiction as per Oslo.

Talks have reportedly taken place on the matter, headed by coordinator of Israeli government activities in the occupied Palestinian territory Yoav Mordechai and head of the Israeli military’s Central Command Roni Numa.

Abbas has yet to discuss the recent talks publicly with the Palestinian people.
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