PA Cracks Down on Hamas Official for Criticizing Peace Talks

Abd El Rahman Zidan arrested overnight, taken to police headquarters and subsequently released into the city's main street wearing pajamas.

Palestinian security forces arrested and immediately released Monday night a top Hamas official, in what the Hamas man called a symbolic act in response to his statements criticizing the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians

Palestinian security forces
Palestinian security officers, loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, take part in a training session in the northern West Bank city of Jenin, in June 2010.AP

Abd El Rahman Zidan, 50, said his house in Dir village in the northern West Bank was surrounded by over 100 Palestinian security officials at approximately 1 A.M., who then allegedly proceeded to wake him and his family up and ransack their belongings.

Following the search, Zidan said he was led to the security headquarters in town wearing his pajamas, only to be subsequently released into the city's main street  minutes after his arrival.

Last week the Israel Defense Forces killed a Hamas military commander in the West Bank, in the latest of recent violent clashes between Israel and the Islamist organization.
Hamas leaders, including Zidan, declared their objection to the recent re-launching of direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad issued a statement condemning the killing, saying it increases the weakness of the credibility of the peace process, which is already shaken.