Saudi authorities have reportedly arrested another senior Hamas leader, as the conservative kingdom steps up its crackdown and repressive measures against the Palestinian resistance movement as well as those seeking to collect donations for people living in the impoverished Gaza Strip.
Palestinian political and family sources told Arabic-language al-Khaleej Online news website on Sunday that Saudi officials have detained Saudi Arabian citizen Abu Ubaydah Khayri Hafiz al-Agha – the son of one of the most prominent founders of Hamas, identified as Khayri al-Agha, who died of natural causes in Saudi Arabia in 2014.
The source added that Saudi authorities had put Agha in Dhahban Central Prison, which is a maximum security prison facility located near the Red Sea port city of Jeddah.
The director general of al-Zaytouna Center for Studies and Consultations, Dr. Mohsen Mohammad Saleh, told Khaleej Online that Agha is being kept behind bars for more than a year and a half, without any specific information about the reason for his detention.
On Saturday, Hamas called on Saudi authorities to immediately release its high-ranking official Muhammad al-Khudari, who was detained in the country five months ago without any clear charges.
Khudari, who has been living in Saudi Arabia for over 30 years, represented Hamas between mid-1990s and 2003 in Saudi Arabia. He has held other important positions in the Palestinian resistance movement as well.
Back on June 3, Lebanese Arabic-language daily newspaper al-Akhbar, citing informed sources who requested anonymity, reported that Saudi officials had been holding dozens of Saudi nationals and Palestinian expatriates in detention for months over affiliation to Hamas.
The report added that the most prominent figure among those arrested was Dr. Khudari.
Al-Ahbar went on to say that the campaign of arrests coincided with the closure and tight control of bank accounts, and a ban on sending any money from Saudi Arabia to the Gaza Strip.
Over the past two years, Saudi authorities have deported more than 100 Palestinians from the kingdom, mostly on charges of supporting Hamas financially, politically or through social networking sites.
The Riyadh regime has imposed strict control over Palestinian funds in Saudi Arabia since the end of 2017.
All remittances of Palestinian expatriates are being tightly controlled, under the pretext that these funds could be diverted indirectly and through other countries to Hamas.
Money transfer offices are asking the Palestinians to bring forward strong arguments for conversion, and do not allow the ceiling of one’s money transfer to exceed $3,000.