Group says PA arrested dozens of its members over Abbas criticism
Published Sunday 09/02/2014 (updated) 11/02/2014 17:20
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- A political organization in the West Bank said on Saturday that Palestinian Authority security forces arrested dozens of its members in the West Bank after the group criticized President Mahmoud Abbas.
The media office of the pan-Islamist party Hizb al-Tahrir said the PA made the arrests in reaction to an earlier statement that criticized Abbas' suggestion that NATO troops be deployed at the borders of a future Palestinian state.
"The future Palestinian state will be disarmed and without an army and will only have a police force," the statement said.
Hizb al-Tahrir said the PA arrested its members due to the group's refusal to recognize the legitimacy of the Israeli occupation, their rejection of the "international occupation" that Abbas had suggested, and their desire to create a united, pan-Islamic political entity.
The group suggested that a NATO presence in Palestine would create a situation where Palestinians would be sent to secret American prisons instead of Israeli ones.
Abbas said in a Feb. 2 interview with the New York Times that he would welcome US-led NATO troops to be positioned at all border crossings in a future Palestinian state as an alternative to Israeli forces.
Hizb al-Tahrir is a pan-Islamic political organization which was founded in Jerusalem in 1953 with the goal of uniting all Muslims into a united state with an elected Caliph at its head.