In the past days, summonses have been issued by security forces to Fatah and Hamas political activists in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. These summonses come against the backdrop of recent positive developments in the Palestinian reconciliation process.
According to information gathered by the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, tens of Fatah activists and leaders have been summoned throughout the Gaza Strip. A number of them have been summoned multiple times. Most have been released, but nine are still being detained. Activists were released after being compelled to sign declarations committing them not to participate in any political and factional activities. The security forces also asked them to provide bail for their release. Al Mezan documents all detentions in the Gaza Strip for its database.
The Al Mezan Center for Human Rights asserts that summonses and detentions of a political nature in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are illegal and violate the Palestinian Basic Law. Palestinians have the right under law to practice political activities without being subject to detention or to house search without a warrant. All procedures for political detention violate Palestinian Criminal Law No 3 of 2001. In the present cases, there is no clear evidence that the detained persons have violated the law, and most of them have been released.
Al Mezan emphasizes the importance of creating an atmosphere conducive to Palestinian political reconciliation and its implementation on the ground. Therefore, Al Mezan calls on both governments in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to issue clear and firm orders to security forces to respect the law and public freedoms, and to expand their efforts to end the Palestinian internal split.