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Palestinian Authority attorney general detained by Hamas

[JURIST] Hamas spokesperson Islam Shahwan said Thursday that Hamas security forces have arrested Palestinian Authority-appointed Attorney General Ahmed al-Mghani after al-Mghani ignored an order of dismissal from the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip [BBC backgrounder]. According to Shahwan, al-Mghani entered the office of the attorney general after he was dismissed so that he could destroy documents. The judiciary in the Gaza Strip has refused to cooperate with the Hamas government and ceased functioning under the orders of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas [BBC profile] after Hamas [BBC backgrounder] violently took over the territory in June.

In July, Hamas announced it was replacing the Palestinian Authority courts [JURIST report] with a judicial counsel consisting of an Islamic legal scholar, a military court lawyer, and a prison warden. Palestinian infighting between the Islamist-Hamas and secular-Fatah Movement [BBC backgrounder] has led to the establishment of two parallel Palestinian governments in the West Bank and Gaza. Hamas, which was elected as the ruling party [JURIST report] of the Palestinian Authority in early 2006, has refused to distance itself from terrorism or to recognize Israel's right to exist as a nation-state, resulting in increased ostracism by the United States, the European Union, and Israel. Reuters has more.

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