Palestinian Authority police 311 (R).
(photo credit: Mohamad Torokman / Reuters)
Palestinian Authority security forces announced on Sunday that they have
discovered a secret Hamas prison near Nablus.
Adnan Damiri, spokesman for
the security forces, said the underground jail was discovered in Urif, south of
Nablus. The PA forces seized communications devices and other equipment and
arrested a number of Palestinians, Damiri said.
Hamas immediately denied
the claim and accused the PA of fabrications and lies.
According to the
spokesman, the secret prison, which consists of a cell with two beds, is located
in a building that includes an apartment and a restaurant.
announcement came after PA forces arrested about 100 Hamas supporters in the
West Bank over the past week, many of them recently released from Israeli
Last week, PA officials in Ramallah claimed that Hamas was trying
to stage a coup in the West Bank.
The officials said that Hamas was
taking advantage of protests against the high cost of living to plunge the West
Bank back into anarchy.
The charges against Hamas came after protesters
in some West Bank cities began chanting slogans against the PA leadership and
the Oslo Accords.
Fatah spokesman Ahmed Assaf said that the secret Hamas
prison was in violation of the law.
“This is a crime that is tantamount
to treason because it harms the interests and security of the Palestinians,”
He claimed Hamas was trying to establish its own underground
entities in the West Bank as part of efforts to overthrow the PA.
Fatah spokesman also said that Hamas had tried to exploit the recent social
protests in the West Bank to “spread anarchy and lawlessness.”
leaders and spokesmen dismissed the claims as “trivial” and “lies.”
Bardaweel, a top Hamas official in the Gaza Strip, said the claim about a secret
prison was aimed at justifying the PA’s ongoing security crackdown on the movement’s supporters in the West
“The Palestinian Authority is trying to white-wash the crime it has
committed by kidnapping and torturing Palestinians,” Bardaweel
Hamas spokesman Mushir al-Masri accused the PA of fabrications to
divert attention from growing discontent with the Palestinian leadership in the
West Bank. He said that the PA clampdown on Hamas supporters was the result of
security coordination between PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s security forces and