Palestinian Authority Arabs in Hevron held a rally Thursday protesting a wave of arrests by PA forces in recent weeks. The protesters, many of them relatives of Hamas terrorists detained by the PA, accused PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ troops of conducting the arrests for political reasons.
Children of prisoners chained themselves together, according to Maan news. Others held signs saying, “Human rights organizations – what are you doing to achieve rights?” Protesters accused human rights groups of failing to stand up to the PA.
Some of the adults present accused PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas of deliberately undermining the recent reconciliation of the warring Fatah and Hamas factions. Abbas’ police “always escalate arrests during dialogue,” one said.
Abbas spoke to former rival Ismail Haniyeh, head of Hamas in Gaza, on Thursday. The two discussed ongoing efforts to reunite the PA in Judea and Samaria with its breakaway counterpart in Gaza.