Hamas warns PA against West Bank arrests 8Sep10 September 9, 2010

Ma’an News Agency -  8 September 2010

Hamas has called on party members and supporters in the West Bank not to turn themselves in to Palestinian Authority security forces and “to confront all attempts at arrest,” a statement read Wednesday.

The Islamist movement, which took control of the coastal enclave in 2007 in a bloody coup, warned PA forces to “take note of what happened in Gaza,” adding that “the hands that struck deep at the heart of the occupier is able to reach [them].”

“[Hamas] will not keep silent for long in the face of the continued arrest campaign and the chasing of party leaders by security departments in the West Bank … our patience has begun to run out,” the statement read.
The stark warning follows reports that several have been detained by PA forces since 31 August, following two shooting attacks in the West Bank that left four Israeli settlers dead and two injured. According to Hamas, the PA has detained up to 750 affiliates in connection to the killings.

“The Al-Qassam [Brigades'] roar in the West Bank will not be stopped by chasing and arrests; the flood of fire is the most clear evidence of this. Al-Qassam has proved it is a pioneer in the field … it will strike at the time and place it likes,” the statement warned.

‘National treason in broad daylight’

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhum further said Wednesday that the PA was “boasting of its arrests of resistance men,” describing the detentions as “national treason in broad daylight.”

“The continued abduction of Hamas leaders in the West Bank has crossed the red line and is a direct collaboration with the enemy,” warning the PA against handing over supporters to Israeli authorities. The arrests, he said, “prove once again the dangerous role of the Fatah authority as a security agent to protect the enemy.”

“This behavior will not effect the project of resistance but will increase our insistence to continue and intensify our painful strikes at the enemy,” the spokesman said.

PA rebuffs Hamas’ estimates

PA security services spokesman Adnan Dmeiri confirmed Sunday that forces seized the car believed to have been used in the Hebron attack and confirmed that several Hamas affiliates had been detained on suspicion of involvement in the incident. However, the spokesman said Hamas’ estimates on the detention, which the Islamist movement said has reached over 600, were “much less than what Hamas has claimed.”

The detentions, he said at the time, were carried out based on “security and investigative information rather than political affiliation,” and he accused Hamas of “conspiring to harm PA commitments.”

Meanwhile, Agence-France Presse reported Wednesday that the PA arrested several Hamas supporters believed to be involved in the two shootings.

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