"We are not going to keep silent in the West Bank about the crimes of this criminal force, so for any crime that takes place against one of our people in Gaza, there will be an operation in West Bank and we will not exclude anybody from this decision".
"The executive force is illegal... and will be treated as such if it is not immediately integrated"
Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian president
Adli Yaaish, the mayor of Nablus, speaking to Al Jazeera said: "I have received information confirming that al-Hanbali will be released on Sunday morning."
"The Fatah movement has denied that some of its members stand behind al-Hanbali’s capture.
"However, there are many divisions in Fatah," he said.
Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, and the Hamas movement faced off over Hamas' "executive force", sparking fears that factional tensions could again erupt into deadly violence.
Abbas has demanded that Hamas disband its interior ministry force, saying they were illegal and should be incorporated into existing security structures.
"The executive force is illegal... and will be treated as such if it is not immediately integrated... into legal security services as stipulated by basic law," said a statement from the president.
However, Ismail Haniya, the Palestinian prime minister, said that "it is not true that the executive force is outside of the security services".
"It works legally according to the orders of the interior ministry," he said.
"There are certain people who don't want the Palestinian people to live in peace and stability. And they don't want the situation to calm down in order to create a serious and deep dialogue to reach a unity government."
Hamas deployed its "executive force" on the streets of Gaza in May, two months after assuming power, despite Abbas's warnings that all armed troops needed to be integrated into security structures loyal to him.
Arriving at Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity on Saturday night, Abbas reiterated the comments made in his earlier statement.
|Abbas at the Grotto in |
"Creating any force needs a decree, and this decree has not been issued. Anyone who says this is an independent force is going against the law and constitution."
But Haniya reinforced his point that the executive force was part of a security community.
"As I said, it is a legal force and it does its job according to the instruction received by its commanders and the internal ministry."
More than two dozen people have been killed in the past month of fighting between Fatah and Hamas supporters.
Abbas said he would not wait forever for the Hamas force to reform, and that the Hamas security wing would "be dealt with accordingly as long as it is not immediately folded into legal security forces".