Tom Perry
May 5, 2011 - 12:00am

Six Hamas sympathisers have been detained by Palestinian Authority security forces in the West Bank since rival groups concluded a deal aimed at reconciliation, a Hamas source said on Thursday.

The detentions in the Hebron and Nablus area underline the challenges facing implementation of the reconciliation deal between Hamas and Fatah, which is headed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

"We regret these detentions," said the source, adding that the Western-backed Palestinian Authority was currently holding around 200 Palestinians for their affiliation with Hamas. "We want this to stop," the source said.

Under the unity deal concluded in Cairo, political detainees are supposed to be released. The Palestinian Authority has said it does is not have any political detainees in its jails.

The PA security forces spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment on the latest detentions.

Hamas and Fatah have accused each other of detaining and torturing their respective supporters during four years of division that has resulted in rival administrations in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, ruled by Hamas since 2007.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017