Hamas says IDF wants to sabotage Palestinian unity

After IDF raids W. Bank homes, Hamas says arrests designed to negatively impact elections, destroy reconciliation with Fatah.

IDF soldiers patrol during a raid 390 (R) (photo credit: Abed Omar Qusini / Reuters)
IDF soldiers patrol during a raid 390 (R)
(photo credit: Abed Omar Qusini / Reuters)
Palestinian sources said that the IDF arrested several Hamas members in pre-dawn raids on their homes in various West Bank cities on Tuesday.
Hamas said the arrest of its members in the West Bank by the IDF was aimed at foiling efforts to achieve Palestinian “national reconciliation.”
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that Tuesday’s arrests were also designed to “negatively impact” the results of future elections in the Palestinian territories.
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 set.
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.