Hamas said yesterday that there is no justification for the Palestinian Authority (PA) to cut the salaries of Palestinians detained in or freed from Israeli jails.
"Cutting the salaries constitutes a national crime against those who sacrificed the most expensive thing in their life for the sake of Palestine: their freedom," member of Hamas' political bureau Musa Dudeen said.
"There is not justification for this," Dudeen said, "except undermining the Palestinian principles, including prisoners inside Israeli jails, ahead of liquidating them in line with the American and Israeli demands to stop supporting them as they are described as 'terrorists'."
Dudeen also said: "The PA's sanctions are a stab in the back for them [Palestinian detainees]."
He called for the PA to stand side by side with the Palestinian people and abolish all the punitive measures imposed on them.
A number of Palestinian detainees who have had their stipends stopped protested outside the PA office yesterday to announce they had launched a hunger strike.
Detainee spokesperson Abdel-Hadi Abu-Khalaf said the PA cut the salaries of 35 detainees freed since 2007, noting that they were told their salaries were cut under the orders of PA President Mahmoud Abbas.
Prisoners' NGOs said that the PA has cut the salaries of 160 prisoners and freed prisoners from Gaza since February.