Hamas yesterday said that the local security forces of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the occupied West Bank had arrested 195 its members in a week.
The Hamas explained in a statement that the detainees were "ex-prisoners, former political detainees, and university students from Nablus and Hebron."
"Since the call for an election by the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on 26 December, the PA security forces have been carrying out arrests against Hamas members to obtain information about the movement's activities and potential presidential candidates," the statement added.
The PA security forces, he pointed out, had stormed Hamas members' 144 homes and confiscated some 3,000 shekels (around $866), 55 cell phones, ten computers, and hundreds of banners and books.
Israel and the PA have been carrying out a crackdown against Hamas' activists and supporters, including former ministers in the resigned Hamas government, legislators, university academics, journalists and unionists. Hamas condemns the joint efforts. Hamas considers the move as a coordinated campaign to prevent their participation in the upcoming elections