Islamic Resistance Leaders: US, Israeli Pressure behind Intifada Activist Arrests
Sources from Hamas and Islamic Jihad have confirmed reports that Palestinian security forces have arrested the top-ranking Hamas leader in Tulkarem and an Islamic Jihad activist in Nablus, but say such moves will not threaten Palestinian unity.
Sources said that the Palestinian Authority (PA)'s security forces on Saturday evening arrested the Hamas leader in Tulkarem, Abbas Al Sayyed, 36, and the Islamic Jihad activist, Anas Shraiteh, 23, from Nablus.
Commenting on these arrests, Sheikh Mohammed Hnaidi, a leader of Islamic Jihad, told Albawaba.com that “Israel exerted pressure on the PA and demanded that it arrest Intifada activists. This is difficult for the PA to do in one step, so it is trying to do so gradually.”
“The Palestinian people reject such actions,” said Hnaidi, adding that a demonstration would be launched from Tulkarem to protest against the arrests. He said that representatives from 13 Palestinian factions met with the governor of Tulkarem after the arrests to inform him of “our absolute rejection of these acts and our insistence on the continuation of the Al Aqsa Intifada.”
Hnadi reiterated that the Palestinian people would overcome this crisis, because “Israel will never give the [PA] anything in return - and if it does, it won’t be more than nominal valueless steps."
For his part, Hasan Yousef, a Hamas leader in the West Bank, called on the PA not to surrender to the American and Israeli pressure and told Albawaba.com that “the PA has so far arrested four activists from Islamic Jihad and Hamas. The list is long and will likely continue [to grow] over the upcoming days.”
“The governor of Tulkarem informed the Palestinian factions' representatives of the external pressures exerted on the PA. We told him the American circumstances should not impose themselves on our situation and that the terrorist attacks in the US had no link whatsoever with the Palestinian struggle and their resistance against occupation,” said Yousef.
Yousef added that he wondered what the Palestinians were supposed to do, given that “yesterday, the occupation army stormed Hebron and the terrorist Sharon committed a new massacre, and the killing of children and home demolitions are continuing.”
He further said that Hamas activists were refusing to even contemplate a conflict between the PA and Palestinian factions, because this would threaten Palestinian unity.
“The national unity under which Palestinians live during the Al Aqsa Intifada should not be undermined,” he added - Albawaba.com
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