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Hamas slams Saudi Arabia for trying Palestinians in secret terrorism court Open in fullscreen

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Hamas slams Saudi Arabia for trying Palestinians in secret terrorism court

Hamas is a Palestinian group based in Gaza [Getty]

Date of publication: 9 March, 2020

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Hamas has slammed Saudi Arabia for arresting 'the best of and the most elite of the Palestinian people'.
Hamas on Monday criticised the detention of dozens of Palestinians in Saudi Arabia accused of being members and supporters of the Gaza-based Palestinian movement.

The group, which rules the Gaza Strip, said Saudi authorities detained dozens of "the best of and the most elite of the Palestinian people residing in Saudi Arabia".

A popular account on Twitter focused on the arrests and trials of dissidents reported that Riyadh is conducting the trials at Specialised Criminal Court, a secretive tribunal established to review terrorism cases.

The arrests intensified in 2019 and there has been no official comment from the Saudi government on either the arrests or the trials.

Ties between Hamas and Saudi Arabia have been cold in recent years.

Hamas have tried to maintain a balanced relationship with Saudi Arabia despite the friction between their policies on a host of regional and international issues. 

Read also: Palestinian movement Hamas demands release of senior official detained in Saudi Arabia

Yet relations worsened since the rise to power of Mohammed bin Salman, now crown prince, who has taken unprecedented moves to normalise relations with Israel, the existence of which Hamas refuses to recognise.

The Palestinian movement relies more on Saudi regional rival Iran for funds, weapons and expertise, along with Turkey and Qatar for their political wing's diplomatic support.

Hamas says the detainees, among them some Jordanians, were held for "supporting the Palestinian cause".

Earlier, a Hamas official explained that this means raising funds and soliciting donations.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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