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Hamas accuses PA of 'continuing violations' against Palestinians in the West Bank

June 5, 2017 5:09 P.M. (Updated: June 8, 2017 7:34 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Hamas movement accused the Palestinian Authority (PA) of “continuing its violations against Palestinians in West Bank,” in a statement on Monday, which said that two Palestinians were summoned for questioning overnight, while the PA has continued to detain several Palestinians in PA jails, denying the detainees “all of their their rights,” including the right to receive family visits, Hamas said.

In the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron, PA forces summoned former prisoner Tariq Gharib to appear for question on Tuesday, the report said.

Meanwhile, in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus, “former political detainee” Samah al-Nadi was briefly detained Sunday night after being summoned by PA intelligence, and was released after agreeing to return for further questioning next week, Hamas wrote.

Hamas highlighted in the statement that former prisoner Hamza Zablah was still being detained by the PA in Hebron for the 13th consecutive day.

Zablah was among six men recently detained by the PA in Hebron, who have each had orders for their release ignored by authorities.

While Zablah declared a hunger strike promptly after his arrest on May 23, which lasted for at least six days, details regarding his hunger strike and his detention remained unclear as of Monday.

A representative of prisoners’ rights group Addameer told Ma’an on Monday that efforts made by the organization to reach out to Zablah’s family have not been successful, and that Addameer was still looking into the details behind the arrest of Zablah and the other five men that were jailed in Hebron.

Hamas’ statement also said that PA forces continued to detain al-Najah University student Omar al-Shakhshir for 15 consecutive days, al-Quds University student Anas Abu Qari for 14 days, al-Khadouri University student Yahya Sawi for 21 days, and former prisoner Abd al-Rahman Abu Shaqir for 10 days.

Meanwhile, Hamas’s media office in Gaza reported on Sunday that during the month of May, PA forces detained 75 Palestinians affiliated with Hamas, summoned 35 others for questioning, and extended detention sentences of four.

They were among a total of 103 Palestinians to be detained by the PA that month, when 179 were also summoned for interrogation, according to an statement on Hamas' website last Thursday.

The statement said the detainees included 67 former prisoners of Israel, 83 former political detainee of PA, three journalists, 15 university students, one high school student, and four imams.

Hamas said that 23 of the detentions took place in the Hebron district, 19 in Ramallah and al-Bireh, 14 in Nablus, 12 in Tulkarem, seven in Jenin, seven in Bethlehem, six in Salfit, six in Qalqiliya, six in Tubas, two in Jericho, and one in Jerusalem.

Hamas has repeatedly denounced the PA’s security coordination with Israel established under the Oslo Accords, as a “revolving door policy” of funneling Palestinian activists between Israeli and PA jails for the same offenses.

Under the practice, PA security forces’ regularly arrest Palestinian suspects wanted by Israel, suppress Palestinian protests, and share intelligence with the Israeli army.

Meanwhile, officials from the Fatah-led PA have continued to criticize Hamas for creating a shadow government in the Gaza Strip and blocking efforts to reach political unity.

A recent study by Palestinian think tank al-Shabaka documented the consequences of the PA’s security campaigns, “whose ostensible purpose were to establish law and order,” but have been perceived by locals as the criminalization of resistance against Israel.

“Rather than recognize resistance as a natural response to institutionalized oppression, the PA, in tandem with Israel and the international community, characterizes resistance as ‘insurgency’ or ‘instability.’ Such rhetoric, which favors Israeli security at the expense of Palestinians, echoes discourse surrounding the ‘war on terror’ and criminalizes all forms of resistance,” al-Shabaka wrote.
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