Hamas Accuses Fatah of Torturing Preacher to Death

Hamas is accusing Fatah of torturing an Islamic preacher to death in one of its prisons and is threatening to take over Judea and Samaria.

Ezra HaLevi ,

Hamas is accusing Fatah of torturing an Islamic preacher in one of its prisons, leading to his death.

Fatah claims that Hamas terrorist and Islamic preacher Sheikh Majd Abdul-Aziz Barghouti, who heads the Kobar Mosque near Ramallah, died of a heart attack. The Islamist preacher, whose age has been reported variously as 42, 44 or 47, had been jailed in Israel in the past;  PA forces arrested him for stockpiling weapons to be used in a Hamas takeover in Judea and Samaria. He was moved from a PA-run prison to a hospital Thursday night, and died Friday.

Hamas claims that he died after being tortured for a week in the Fatah prison. The claim is backed by members of Barghouti’s family, who viewed his body prior to burial and spoke with other inmates. They say he had burn marks and signs of beatings all over his body. Family members blocked the main road leading through the village of Kobar demanding Barghouti’s killers be brought to justice.

Being Jailed by Fatah Worse Than by Israel
Hamas said, “The killing of Barghouti shows that being imprisoned by Fatah is worse that being jailed by Israel.” The Islamist group called upon Fatah to release Hamas prisoners being held in PA jails in Judea and Samaria.

The Fatah-run “PA Security Services expressed sorrow over the death of Barghouti and stated that autopsy revealed that the causes of his death [were] natural,” according to a Fatah-associated news site. “The Security Services added that Barghouti was moved to Khalid Hospital in Ramallah and after his death, the body was moved to an autopsy center near Jerusalem, and that the autopsy revealed that the causes of death are related to a heart disease. The Palestinian general-prosecutor is slated to release the report of the autopsy center.”

Bargouti had been arrested last week by the PA intelligence forces, headed by Fatah strongman Tawfik Tirawi.

Hamas claims, on its official English web site, that “According to an investigation carried out…Barghouti arrived to the city's Khaled hospital [a] lifeless body.” Quoting doctors, Hamas said “the victim was brought to the hospital by the PA intelligence elements three days before he died, and that they strongly recommended retaining him in hospital due to his critical health condition, but that the PA security elements forcibly brought him back to the jail. The doctors also acknowledged that the body of Barghouthi bore signs of torture when he was first admitted into the hospital.”

The Hamas-run PA parliament in Gaza condemned the killing, saying torture is rampant in PA jails in Judea and Samaria. The Hamas body also called on PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to fire Tirawi.

Hamas Spokesman Fawzi Barhoum accused the PA leadership in Ramallah of "a concocted factional-cleansing against [Hamas] in favor of the Israeli policies and at the expense of the Palestinian national unity and harmony.”

Rallying Cry for Hamas Takover in Judea and Samaria
Hamas official Younis Al-Astal responded to the death of Barghouti by warning Fatah that "the time when the West Bank [Judea and Samaria –ed.] revolts against its executioners will come soon and it will dump them into the garbage of history similar to their fate in Gaza.”

Abbas has announced that an investigation will be carried out into Barghouti’s death.