July 27, 2008

Mideast: Hamas Official Comments on Fatah Wing’s “Threats”; 34 West Bank Arrests

Text of report in English by pro-Hamas Palestinian Information Centre website on 27 July

[Unattributed report from Gaza: "Hamas: AMB Threats Against the Movement Are Not Unusual"]

The Hamas Movement stated on 26 July that the threats made by the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the armed wing of Fatah, to eradicate the movement in the West Bank, are not startling in light of its high- level security coordination with the Israeli occupation.

In an exclusive statement to the PIC, Dr Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman, underlined that the crimes committed against the Movement by Fatah and its security apparatuses have never stopped during the last period until now and that such threats to resume assaults are not surprising.

Dr Abu Zuhri added that there are dozens of Palestinian detainees affiliated with Hamas in the PNA security apparatuses' jails in the West Bank, 39 of them are from Nablus alone. He pointed out that the arrests which took place lately in Gaza were limited and unrelated to the Fatah Movement, because the arrested persons are either suspects or arrested in the past for criminal acts.

Tens of thousands of Palestinian citizens and Hamas supporters went on a massive march Saturday evening in protest at the Gaza beach massacre committed by the routed Fatah-affiliated mutiny trend which claimed the lives of six Palestinian citizens. The angry masses chanted slogans calling for retribution on the murderers and their leaders. "They have to choose between us and Olmert and if they join Olmert, we will wipe them out,"

Fathi Hammad, a member of the Hamas parliamentary bloc, highlighted in a speech before the masses. During a meeting organized by the association of Palestine scholars in Khan Yunis, Hammad al-Ruqub, a Hamas spokesman, said that if Hamas had wanted to uproot Fatah from the Gaza Strip, it would not have granted it the freedom to hold internal elections and an amnesty after its transgression against Hamas before the Movement took control of the Strip. Ruqub underscored that Fatah resorts to using the same means of the Israeli occupation through assaulting the charitable institutions and orphanages in the West Bank and sending criminals to tamper with the prevailing security and stability in Gaza.

In a related development, the PNA security apparatuses affiliated with PNA chief Mahmud Abbas in Tulkarm waged 26 July evening a fierce kidnap campaign against Hamas cadres after storming a number of houses in the city. Palestinian local sources reported that the PNA security kidnapped Shaykh Ammar Mana'a, the preacher of the new mosque in Tulkarem, and another citizen called Asyad Arif after breaking and ransacking their homes, pointing out that the kidnap campaign is still ongoing. All in all the PNA security apparatuses rounded up 34 cadres and/or supporters of Hamas in various West Bank areas especially in Nablus, Tulkarm and Qalqilia on 26 July.

Originally published by Palestinian Information Centre website in English 27 Jul 08.

(c) 2008 BBC Monitoring Middle East. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.