PA gov't shuts down 103 institutions in apparent crackdown on Hamas

The Palestinian Authority government has ordered the closure of 103 institutions in the West Bank and Gaza, Prime Minister Salaam Fayad said Monday, in an apparent crackdown aimed at Hamas. Implementation of the order began Sunday, Fayad said. The formal reason is violation of laws governing civil groups. Fayad said the closure orders were part of a wider reform. He would not list the targeted institutions but said their bank accounts would be frozen. Fayad denied the decision was aimed at Hamas alone, but added, "When there is a violation of the law, should I stop there and say there is a sensitivity because this institution might be a Hamas one? This is not acceptable."