Hamas Accuses Moderate Fatah Party & Abbas of Torture

3,000 Hamas members protested at the funeral of Hamas imam Majd al-Barghouthi.
Hamas said that Fatah had tortured al-Barghouthi to death in jail.

Palestinians carry the body of imam Majd al-Barghouthi during his funeral in the West Bank village of Kaubar near Ramallah February 24, 2008. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas opened an investigation into the death of the Hamas preacher, who the Islamist group said was tortured by Fatah security services, officials said on Saturday. Abbas’ security force said on Friday that Barghouthi had died of a stroke.
(REUTERS/Ammar Awad)

Hamas on Sunday accused Palestinian forces loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas of torturing one of its leaders to death to extract “sham confessions” that the Islamist group was trying to set up a West Bank militia.

Abbas has opened an investigation into the death of 45-year-old Majd al-Barghouthi, a relative of a Hamas minister, in an Israeli jail. Abbas’s security force said on Friday that Barghouthi, who is also a preacher, had died of a stroke.

“Imam Barghouthi was subjected to all kinds of torture for a week. The information we have now is that he resisted uttering statements dictated by his jailers about a Hamas executive force in the West Bank,” Hamas official Izzat al-Rishq told Reuters.

More Hamas detainees complained of torture following the death of Imam Barghouthi.

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