PA Security Force (file)
PA Security Force (file) Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90

The Palestinian Authority's (PA) security forces conducted a wave of arrests over the course of Thursday night targeting Hamas, the rival of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction.

The arrests were concentrated around the areas of Hevron and Bethlehem in Judea, as well as Shechem (Nablus) in Samaria.

According to Arab media cited by Walla!, no fewer than 50 Hamas members were arrested, and likewise the PA forces seized electronic equipment belonging to the terrorist organization.

The PA has good reason to worry about Hamas's wide-reaching and popular presence in Judea and Samaria - just last August the IDF foiled a Hamas coup attempt seeking to oust the PA from the region.

That attempt came despite the fact that just last April the PA torpedoed peace talks with Israel by signing a rapprochement agreement with Hamas.

As a result of the agreement the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) formed a unity government, although Abbas dissolved it just last month as it was dysfunctional and had no actual authority in Gaza where Hamas continues to rule.

Talks by a PLO committee with Hamas and Islamic Jihad began on Saturday, but those negotiations quickly reached an "impasse," with Hamas saying the PLO should not be tasked with forming the government. Hamas does not currently have representation in the PLO.

The bitter rivalry between Hamas and Fatah was most vividly given expression after the 2006 elections in Gaza which Hamas won by a large margin, and which it followed by violently purging Fatah from the coastal enclave the following year.

Join our official WhatsApp group