The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement decided on Tuesday to postpone sending its positive written reply about elections to the Palestinian Authority in protest against the crackdown on protesters in Ramallah. Salah Al-Bardaweel of the Hamas Political Bureau revealed this news at a press conference.
"Hamas has taken this decision in protest against the PA's crimes against the sit-in by freed prisoners in the centre of Ramallah," Al-Bardaweel explained. "The Israeli occupation authorities killed prisoner Sami Abu-Dayyak. This coincided with the PA's crackdown on the protest by the freed prisoners, which violates the principle of freedom of speech."
It was previously revealed by the Deputy Leader of Hamas, Saleh Al-Arouri, that the movement's "positive" reply to the conditions laid down by Mahmoud Abbas will be handed to the head of the Elections Committee, Hanna Nasser, when he next visits Gaza.
Hamas is now stressing the importance of public rights and freedoms if the demand for free and fair elections is to be met.
In the wake of the Hamas decision, Al-Aqsa TV reported that Nasser has been in touch with the PA in Ramallah to seek a solution for the issue of the freed prisoners, who are calling on the PA President to restore their stipend payments.