Palestinian sources said that the IDF arrested several Hamas members in pre-dawn
raids on their homes in various West Bank cities on Tuesday.
the arrest of its members in the West Bank by the IDF was aimed at foiling
efforts to achieve Palestinian “national reconciliation.”
Sami Abu Zuhri said that Tuesday’s arrests were also designed to “negatively
impact” the results of future elections in the Palestinian
He pointed out that the arrests coincided with the beginning
of the Palestinian Central Elections Commission’s effort to register voters for
presidential and parliamentary elections.
Some 16,000 people registered
to vote on Monday in the Gaza Strip, a lower turnout than expected, the Central
Elections Commission said.
Monday was the first day citizens were able to
register to vote in Gaza since 2005, after Hamas won a sweeping victory in the
municipal elections that were held in December.
According to Ma’an,
around 257 registration centers are open in order to update the electoral role
to prepare for national elections, although no official date has been
Abu Zuhri also criticized the Palestinian Authority security forces
in the West Bank for their ongoing clampdown on Hamas supporters and figures. He
warned that the chances of holding new elections had been weakened as the result
of the PA crackdown.
He urged the PA leadership to “prove its sincere
desire” to end the dispute with Hamas by stopping the crackdown and security
coordination with Israel.
Musa Abu Marzouk, a senior Hamas official, also
criticized the PA leadership for arresting several members of the Islamist
movement in the West Bank.
He said that the PA and Israeli crackdown on
Hamas was aimed at disrupting efforts to achieve reconciliation with Fatah and
hold free elections.
On Tuesday, the PA arrested two Hamas supporters in
the West Bank: Muhammad Harb and Adam Abu Sharar.
Among those who were
arrested by the IDF Tuesday are Ra’fat Nassif, Ktadah Badawi and Musab al-Ashkar
from Tulkarem, and Muthanna Shtayyeh, Osama Yammin, Walid Assideh and Musa
Yammin from Nablus.
Altogether, some 15 Hamas members were arrested by
the IDF, the sources said.
Last week, the IDF arrested more than 30 Hamas
figures and supporters in the West Bank