Israel took dozens of Palestinian fighters in the West Bank off its wanted list, in an apparent effort to reward the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority (PA) for its crackdown on its rival Hamas.
The Tel Aviv regime will no longer pursue some 77 West Bank-based Palestinian activists, mostly from Fatah’s military wing, the Al-Aqsa Martyres Brigades, The Jerusalem Post quoted Palestinian sources as saying on Tuesday.
Ten of the Fatah members not directly involved in fatal operations have been fully pardoned, according to the report, which means they would be able to move around freely and travel abroad.
The rest were told to stay at home throughout the night, while others were instructed to sleep at security centers run by the Palestinian Authority.
The Western-backed Fatah has been winning such concessions from the Israeli sides by relinquishing their weapons and detaining members of the Gaza-based Hamas movement in the West Bank.
The Palestinian Authority claims it has foiled a series of anti-Israeli attacks by Hamas fighters, referring to seizing a home-made rocket ‘intended’ to be fired into Israel from Ramallah.
This is while 28 Hamas supporters were arrested by the PA security forces in the West Bank within a day, Hamas sources said on Tuesday.
There are fears that the continued arrests might further jeopardize the prospects of reconciliation between the feuding Palestinian factions.
Tensions between Fatah and Hamas came to a head in June 2007, when the former staged a coup against the democratically elected Hamas government, forcing the Islamic movement to limit its rule to the Gaza Strip.