In a further sign of the rapid deterioration of the April "unity agreement" between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (PA), a leader in the Gaza-based terrorist group ordered members in Judea and Samaria to resist summonses for investigation by PA security forces.
Senior Hamas leader and spokesperson Hussam Badran slammed the "escalation in the amount of summonses and arrests in the West Bank," reports Yedioth Aharonoth, adding that Hamas last week argued PA forces had arrested many of its members without cause.
The accusation of mistreatment of its members by the PA comes after PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said Saturday night that "Hamas conducted atrocities during the war in Gaza, also at its end when it executed 120 people without trial because they breached the curfew placed on them."
The comment on curfews would appear to confirm reports that Hamas limited members of Abbas's Fatah faction to an effective house arrest during Operation Protective Edge. Abbas likewise seemed to back reports that Hamas's executions for "collaboration" were an excuse to kill off political opponents, including Fatah members.
Abbas on Saturday night threatened to end the "unity deal" with Hamas, saying he "doesn't trust Hamas," as tensions between the two parties continue to build in the wake of Operation Protective Edge and the failed Hamas coup attempt on Abbas in Judea and Samaria.
Interestingly Badran said back in early June that Hamas believes "the majority of the Palestinian people still believe that the way to freedom is to fight," calling for "armed struggle" against Israel. Abbas, meanwhile, is currently pushing a "diplomatic war," calling for the UN to force Israel into a timeline for withdrawal from the 1949 Armistice lines.
A recent poll last Tuesday supports Badran's assertion, finding that after the operation a full 61% of Arab residents of Gaza, Judea and Samaria would pick Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh for unity government president, whereas Abbas would have a mere 32% in support.
It is worth noting that in terms of ideology there indeed appears to be unity between Hamas and Abbas's Fatah faction, with senior Fatah officials recently saying they reached a "political decision" to support Arab terrorists "slaughtering" Jews living in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem, calling for a full return to terrorism, and declaring "open war" on the Jewish state.
Such calls are in keeping with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) charter of 1968, which declares "armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine." Following the charter, the PLO and Fatah were defined internationally as terror organizations, a status which was removed during the 1993 Oslo Accords process.