Ma'an News Agency
October 6, 2010 - 12:00am

Hamas' military wing on Wednesday threatened to target Palestinian Authority officials "if PA security forces continue to detain and sue resistance activists in the West Bank."

Al-Qassam Brigades spokesman Abu Ubayda read a statement on behalf of 12 military groups in the Gaza Strip saying "we are fed up with the PA security's behavior in the West Bank. Over the past period, we have preferred to give reconciliation efforts all the time needed, however, we hereby say we will not remain silent for long."

Abu Ubayda said PA forces had "gone to the extremes, forcing us to end our silence," adding that ongoing efforts to secure a unity deal with Fatah "were not enough to prevent chasing and detaining Mujaheddin. Nobody can blame us if we go after leaders of the Fatah-run authority everywhere, and treat them equally."

The spokesman said hundreds of armed militia affiliates had been detained by PA security forces in the West Bank, and Islamic Jihad leader Khader Adnan began a hunger strike in detention. "Prisoners are being tortured harshly in jail," he added.

Since Tuesday, the Islamist movement has accused the PA of detaining 21 party supporters across the West Bank and summoning several others, shortly after three Hamas affiliates were charged by a military court of causing the death of three PA security officers in Qalqiliya in 2009.

The party responded to the convictions by accusing the PA of "cooperating with Israel," after the three were also indicted on charges of conspiring against the PA.

The threat comes as Fatah and Hamas are scheduled to meet over the final point stalling the ratification of an Egyptian-backed unity deal, poised to end inter-factional rivalry.

On Wednesday, Fatah spokesman Ahmad Asaf accused Hamas leaders of attempting to sabotage unity talks by issuing statements from the Strip by using "inciting rhetoric as a distraction to its real, undeclared goal of rejecting conciliation, continue with division and restoring their rule on Gaza to keep their personal privileges."


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