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Deputy speaker of Palestinian parliament calls for PA to stop crackdown on Hamas

Deputy Speaker of the Palestinian Parliament, Hassan Khreesheh, called on the Palestinian Authority (PA) to stop its crackdown on Hamas as a “goodwill gesture” to prove the seriousness of national talks, the Shehab news agency reported yesterday.

“The PA has to lift its restrictions imposed on Hamas in the West Bank and everyone must practice their freedoms,” Khreesheh told Shehab.

He stressed: “Elections cannot be carried out under such conditions; otherwise, we are kidding the Palestinian people.”

The independent MP hoped Palestinian factions would retain the “positive spirit” of the Cairo talks and achieve “positive” changes for Palestinians.

Shehab said that the PA security services have increased their security campaigns against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, including detentions and harassment on political grounds.

Last night Palestinian factions concluded the first round of national dialogue in Cairo and said they agreed on forming the elections court, lifting restrictions on Hamas in the West Bank, and resuming talks in March.