Hamas officials admit their Islamic organization expects a crackdown of arrests of their members, orchestrated by Fatah ahead of October elections in order to skew voting results.
Hamas officials are expecting a clampdown on its members in the West Bank at the hands of rival party Fatah in a bid to skew the upcoming elections, the Times of Israel news site reports.
The Palestinian Authority regularly arrests activists suspected of being linked to Hamas, often in coordination with Israeli security forces to stop attacks within Israel.
Citing a report by Israel Radio on Monday, the Times of Israel said a high ranking Hamas member claims that the Palestinian Authority is persecuting the group through the arrests.
The Palestinian Authority’s actions, said the Hamas member, show that it does not aim to conduct a fair, democratic election.
Hamas is expecting a boost from the elections, said the Times of Israel.
The Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas which controls the Gaza Strip said last month that it will participate in local elections set for October, after boycotting the last round four years ago.
Its rival, the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority headed by president Mahmoud Abbas, has said local and municipal polls will be held on October 8 throughout the Palestinian territories.
The movement boycotted the last round of elections held in 2012 and Gazans have been unable to vote since the Islamists took power in the territory in 2007.
Hamas and Fatah agreed a unity deal in April 2014 that was supposed to lead to a technocratic government taking over administration of Gaza and the West Bank.
However, Hamas never accepted relinquishing its authority in Gaza, and the two sides remain at loggerheads.
(Staff with agencies)
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