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Hamas accuses PA security forces of targeting its members

Jan. 29, 2017 10:45 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 29, 2017 10:45 P.M.)
(File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Hamas accused the Palestinian Authority (PA) of targeting Palestinians affiliated to the movement and those formerly detained by Israel on Sunday.

According to Hamas, Palestine Polytechnic University of Hebron students Jibril Abu Sbeih and Baraa Balout were detained by Palestinian security forces less than a week ago, while Amjad Salhab and Firas Jabour were detained more than two weeks ago.

The movement alleged that the four were undergoing “extreme torture” in PA detention facilities in Jericho.

Hamas also said that PA security forces summoned for interrogation two former Palestinian prisoners -- Islamic Jihad member Ihab Muhammad Yunis, and Bilal Ali Assi, who was reportedly released from Israeli custody two weeks ago.

The party went on to say that Zaki Deriya and Anas Abu Ishtiyeh, both currently imprisoned by the PA, had begun hunger strikes for at least four days earlier.

Hamas, the de facto ruling party in Gaza, and the Palestinian Authority have exchanged accusations of carrying out “politically motivated” arrests.

Fatah and Hamas have been embroiled in conflict since Hamas' election victory in 2006 elections in the Gaza Strip, which erupted into a violent conflict between the two movements as both attempted to consolidate control over the territory.

Despite numerous attempts at reconciling the groups, Palestinian leadership has repeatedly failed to follow through on promises of reconciliation and holding of long-overdue elections, as both movements have frequently blamed each other for numerous political failures.

Officials from the Fatah-led PA have criticized Hamas for creating a shadow government in the Gaza Strip and blocking efforts to reach political unity.

Hamas has in turn accused the PA of executing a plan to "eradicate" the movement from the West Bank, accusing Fatah of “escalating security collaboration” with the Israeli authorities through politically-motivated arrests and “adopting a revolving door policy" funneling Palestinians from PA jails into Israeli prisons.
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