Hamas urges international pressure on Israel to release members
Commemorating Palestinian Prisoner’s Day, the Gaza-based group on Saturday slammed Israel's arrests of Palestinians running in the upcoming elections, accusing it of preventing the elections of taking place.
Israel is “blatantly interfering in the internal Palestinian affairs and an attempt to form a stumbling block to the electoral process with the intention of influencing it and preventing its conduct," Hamas said in a statement, according to Anadolu Agency.
The group urged the international community and the countries backing the Palestinian elections “to respond to the occupation over its aggression," in reference to the arrests.
Hamas urged that it is committed to the elections “in spite of Israeli threats and harassment.” adding it holds Israel "fully responsible for its systematic crimes against the prisoners."
Israel in recent weeks has detained Hamas members in overnight raids in the occupied West Bank running up to the elections.
Hamas members have also been threatened by Israeli intelligence officers with imprisonment if they run in the polls.
Palestinians will head to the polls for the first time in 15 years this summer. The legislative elections are set to take place on 22 May and a presidential vote on 31 July.