Hamas said the PA was conducting a crackdown on the opposition Islamic
movement throughout the West Bank. The regime in the Gaza Strip said many of
the detainees have undergone abuse or torture.
"We will not remain silent over the torture inside West Bank prisons,"
Hamas Interior Ministry spokesman Ihab Ghussein said.
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In a briefing on May 29, Ghussein called on the Arab and Western media
to expose the PA detention of Hamas and other political prisoners. The Hamas
spokesman said Western human rights groups have ignored PA violations
while focusing on those in the Gaza Strip.
"They must expose perpetrators of crimes and not maintain a double
standard between what goes on in Gaza and the West Bank," Ghussein said.
In late May, Hamas and the PA released Palestinian operatives in both
the Gaza Strip and West Bank. The release included prominent members of both
movements in such locations as Khan Yunis and Nablus.
At the same time, Hamas has reported PA arrests in the cities of
Bethlehem, Hebron, Nablus and Tulkarm. In Hebron, at least 35 Hamas
operatives were detained in May. In response, Hamas detained an unidentified
senior Fatah official in the southern Gaza Strip.