A Hamas operative died in a Hebron prison overnight Monday after being interrogated by Palestinian Intelligence personnel.
The Islamist group has accused the Palestinian Authority's of torturing the man to death and warned that the incident may prove to be a deadly blow to the efforts at reconciling the rival Palestinian factions.
The deceased Hamas operative, identified as 28-year-old Haytham Amro from the village of Dura, worked as a nurse at a Hebron hospital. He was arrested last week by the Palestinian security services. The Authority said it was looking into the circumstances of his death.
Hamas claims the "torture of hundreds of operatives in the West Bank has become routine in Palestinian jails."
The incident came on the heels of Sunday's meeting between Hamas and Fatah representatives in an effort to minimize the arrests of operatives from both factions in the West Bank and Gaza.
"This crime (Amro's death) proves that within Fatah and the Palestinian Authority there is a group of people who aren’t interested in reconciliation and therefore carry on with the arrests and the torture of detainees," senior Hamas figure Sami Abu Zuhri said.
Islamic Jihad also called on the Authority to stop arresting its operatives in the West Bank.