Hamas: PA police detains 5 Palestinians, summon journalist

12:00 Mar 21 2017 Tulkarem, Hebron & Tubas districts, Bethlehem, Rantis, Ramallah

Hamas: PA police detains 5 Palestinians, summon journalist
Illustrative scene. File. Published by Maan News

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Palestinian security forces arrested five people and summoned a journalist on Tuesday, the Hamas movement said in a statement, which described the raids as "politically motivated" arrests by the Palestinian Authority (PA).

In the northern occupied West Bank district of Tulkarem, Hamas said that forces from the PA's preventive security service detained Khadouri University student Izz al-Din Freihat after they raided his apartment.

In the southern Hebron district, Muhammad Najajreh was detained, after PA intelligence officers stopped a bus he was taking to attend class at Hebron University, according the statement that said Najajreh was from the town of Nahalin near Bethlehem.

In Bethlehem, PA intelligence summoned journalist Qutaiba Qassem for interrogation. The statement said Qassem has previously been imprisoned by Israel.

Hamas' statement said that PA preventive security services arrested Arafat Sawafta from his workplace after his home was also raided and searched in the northern Tubas district. 

In the central Ramallah district, Saeb Abu Salim, who has previously been imprisoned by Israel, was delivered a summons in the town of Rantis to appear for interrogation with PA intelligence.

Obada al-Zaghal, from Ramallah, was also detained after he was first summoned for interrogation.

Hamas, the de facto ruling party in the Gaza Strip, and the PA have exchanged accusations of carrying out “politically motivated” arrests, as the two factions have been embroiled in conflict since Hamas' election victory in 2006 elections, which erupted into a violent conflict between the two movements as both attempted to consolidate control over the territory.

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.

In predawn raids Tuesday across the occupied West Bank, Israeli forces detained some at least 20 Palestinians.

Meanwhile, a detention raid Sunday night conducted by the PA into Balata refugee camp erupted into armed clashes with local gunmen, which left a Palestinian security officer dead.

Izz al-Din Freihat detained 3/21/2017
Muhammad Najajreh detained 3/21/2017
Journalist Qutaiba Qassem summoned for interrogation 3/21/2017
Arafat Sawafta detained 3/21/2017
Saeb Abu Salim detained 3/21/2017
Obada al-Zaghal detained 3/21/2017
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