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PRESS RELEASE

Released @ 12:00 hours GMT, 13th December 1998

Islamic Opposition Groups Face a New Wave of Arrests

Before US President Bill Clinton’s visit to the area, Palestinian Security Forces have increased their activities against Islamic opposition groups in the Gaza Strip. Since Friday evening, (11th December 1998) the Security Forces launched its latest campaign of arrests. Approximately 40 supporters of Hamas and Islamic Jihad were arrested in the Gaza Strip, especially from Jabalia and Rafah City. In addition, many others were summoned by the Preventative Security and General Intelligence branches for questioning.

PCHR expresses its deep concern about the Palestinian Authority’s continued arrests of members of the opposition, an activity which has intensified since the signing of the Wye River Memorandum on 23rd October 1998. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights calls upon the PA to commit itself to legal norms concerning the procedure of arrest and to stop arresting persons for their political opinions.