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Political arrests threaten to undermine Palestinian reconciliation

The recent arrests of Hamas members by the PA’s security apparatus in the West Bank has raised concerns that the Palestinian reconciliation might fail and internal division will prevail again inside the Palestinian territories.
Palestinians take part in a rally calling for the release of Hamas prisoners from the Palestinian authority (PA) jails in the West Bank city of Hebron July 6, 2012. The writing on the T-shirt reads: "We live in dignity or we die martyrs. No for political arrest." REUTERS/ Mussa Qawasma (WEST BANK - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST) - RTR34NM9
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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — The Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces launched an unprecedented arrest campaign on July 2 targeting the supporters and leaders of Hamas in West Bank provinces, leading to condemnation by Hamas and other Palestinian factions. Meanwhile, concerns spread that the Palestinian reconciliation would collapse and internal division would re-emerge.

In a press conference attended by Al-Monitor July 7 in Gaza City, Hamas spokesman Abdul Rahman Shadid said that from July 2 to July 7, the number of Hamas detainees arrested by the PA topped 200 individuals — among them 37 university students and 98 former prisoners freed from Israeli jails.

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