A Palestinian MP has accused the Palestinian Authority security services of carrying out political detentions as a pre-emptive measure to undermine possible Great March of Return protests in the occupied West Bank, Arab48.com reported on Monday.
Nayef Al-Rajoub MP is from the Hamas-linked parliamentary bloc. He said that the ongoing escalation of the detention of Palestinian politicians and activists by the PA reflects its fear that the demonstrations will spread to the West Bank.
In a related statement issued on Monday, Hamas said that the PA security services had arrested nine Palestinians, including some who were previously freed from prison. It pointed out that many of its members and activists are already being held by the PA security services. Hamas made reference to the ongoing security cooperation between the PA and the Israeli occupation authorities, which have also arrested around 150 Palestinians over the past week.
According to Al-Rajoub, the detentions are intended to create a quiet atmosphere during the Palestinian National Council meeting slated for 30 April in Ramallah. It is expected that the decisions taken at the meeting will conform to Israeli policies.
The MP, who served as a minister in the ousted Hamas government and has spent several terms in an Israeli prison himself, described the political detentions by the PA as a "sickness", the symptoms of which are represented in its security cooperation with the Israelis. He ruled out any end to such political detentions unless the PA reviews and changes its own outlook. This, he stressed, is highly unlikely, as the PA does not have the power to take such steps.