Al Bitawi, a Hamas member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, said
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas must stop security forces from harassing Hamas
in the West Bank. A leading Hamas cleric, Al Bitawi also called on the PA to
release all political detainees.
In May, Hamas and Fatah signed an agreement for reconciliation
ahead of plans to establish a Palestinian state in the West Bank. Under the
deal, arranged by Egypt, the two Palestinian movements would end harassment,
free political prisoners, establish a unity government, prepare for
elections and cooperate on security.
On May 18, however, Hamas said the PA was continuing its crackdown on
Hamas, particularly in the area of the northern city of Nablus. Hamas said a
teacher was dismissed from the Nablus-area village of Beita "for his
"Those [PA] apparatuses continued their anti-reconciliation practices,"
Hamas said in a statement.