Hamas says it holds Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas fully responsible for the assassination of activist and political opponent, Nizar Banat.
"The Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, strongly condemns Abbas' security forces' assassination of the activist and political opponent, Nizar Banat, deputy head of the Freedom and Dignity List in the legislative elections," it said in a statement, adding that "this orchestrated and premeditated crime reflects the intentions and behaviour of Abbas' authority and his security services towards our people, opposition activists, and political opponents."
"Hamas holds the President of the Oslo Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, and his authority full responsibility for all the repercussions and consequences of this heinous crime that is added to the series of crimes and violations of this authority against our people," it continued.
It added that it rejects the decision of PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh to form a committee to investigate the circumstances of the assassination, saying: "There is no trust in a committee formed by the authority, its government, and services for they all carried out the assassination, and must bear full responsibility for this heinous crime".
The statement called on the Palestinian people, factions and institutions to shoulder their responsibilities, take bold and responsible national decisions towards those involved in this heinous crime, and work to protect Palestinian people from the oppression, arrogance and criminality of the PA.
An outspoken critic of the PA, Banat was due to run in the parliamentary elections which were called off by Abbas earlier this year. His family said PA security forces arrested and beat him with batons yesterday, he was later found to have been killed.