PA security forces have been arresting members of the Hizb Tahrir
movement, regarded as close to Al Qaida. Hizb said at least 22 members were
detained after the group criticized the PA.
"The PA has detained and harshly beaten our members," Hizb said.
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In a statement on July 8, Hizb, believed to contain tens of thousands of
supporters in the West Bank, said the PA crackdown took place in Hebron and
Tulkarm. The statement said the PA was stopping Hizb from conducting what it
termed peaceful activities.
On July 2, Hizb, not known to have formal ties to Al Qaida, held a
commemoration throughout the West Bank. Palestinian security forces were
said to have used live fire, tear gas and truncheons to disperse Hizb
demonstrations in such cities as Hebron, Nablus, Ramallah and Tulkarm. About
200 Hizb activists were said to have been arrested.
The PA has denied using live fire against Hizb. PA police spokesman
Brig. Gen. Adnan Dumeiri said the Hizb demonstrations were deemed to have
violated PA law.
"Under the pretext of their right to expression, they caused chaos and
broke the law in several cities," Dumeiri said.