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Islamic Jihad blasts Palestinian Authority’s crackdown on resistance

People gather during an event held by the Islamic Jihad movement in Gaza City, Gaza on August 25, 2022. (Photo by Anadolu Agency)

The Gaza-based Palestinian resistance movement Islamic Jihad has condemned the crackdown launched by the Palestinian Authority (PA) on a number of resistance commanders and former prisoners in the occupied West Bank.

Tareq Selmi, a spokesman for Islamic Jihad, said on Sunday “We condemn in the strongest terms the ongoing arrests carried out by the [Palestinian] Authority’s security apparatuses that affected a number of freed prisoners,” including Jamal Hamamra, one of the group’s commanders.

He noted that Hamamra was detained on Sunday after being summoned by the intelligence apparatus.

Selmi stressed that the arrest campaign is “a deviation from the national consensus,” calling for the immediate release of all political prisoners and resistance fighters, including Hamamra.

In recent days, the Ramallah-based PA has arrested a number of Islamic Jihad members in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin in what is seen as an attempt to reestablish its control over Jenin.

Among those arrested were the former prisoners, Murad Walid Malayshe, 34, and Muhammad Walid Barahme, 37, who were detained while they were on their way to assist resistance fighters during Israel’s last week attack on Jenin. The two are currently on hunger strike in protest against their detention. 

The PA security forces also arrested journalist Ahmed al-Betawi, and an activist from near al-Khalil (Hebron) named Louay Qabaja, who has staged a hunger strike over his detention for a Facebook post.

The PA, which is run by the ruling Fatah party and led by President Mahmoud Abbas, is increasingly seen by some Palestinians as an accomplice to the Israeli regime rather than fighting for their rights.

On Wednesday, mourners kicked out senior Fatah leaders, including Mahmoud al-Aloul, deputy to PA President Mahmoud Abbas, and Azzam al-Ahmad, a member of Fatah’s Central Committee, of a mass funeral held for some of the victims of the latest Israeli attack on Jenin.

The mourners were angry at Fatah’s neglect of the resistance, and failure to defend Palestinians during the Israeli attack.

Following the expulsion of senior Fatah officials, a delegation of three ministers from the PA visited Jenin on Sunday and met with local officials, in a move seen as part of an effort to reassert the PA’s presence in the city.

‘Our weapon remains against the enemy’

Meanwhile, the Islamic Jihad’s Secretary-General Ziad al-Nakhala stressed that the escalation of acts of resistance in the occupied West Bank is aimed against the Israeli occupation and has nothing to do with the PA and doesn’t aim at undermining it.

“We disagree with the Palestinian Authority in terms of political stance, but our weapon remains against the enemy. If the Palestinian Authority was wiser, it would have benefited from the state of resistance,” he said in an interview with IRNA published on Sunday.

Israel launched the military campaign against Jenin in the early hours of July 3, mobilizing upwards of 1,000 troops as means of supposedly damaging the resistance “infrastructure” in the city and the refugee camp that it hosts.

At least 12 Palestinians and one Israeli trooper died as a result of the conflict, during which a steadfast Palestinian resistance response prompted the regime to pull out its forces after less than two days.

Israeli troops finally pulled back from Jenin on Tuesday evening following a 44-hour-long incursion.

The Israeli aggression on Jenin drew widespread condemnation from the international community.

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