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Pro-Abbas troops arrest 44 Hamas supporters in West Bank
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09:19, December 22, 2008

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Palestinian scurrility forces arrested dozens of Hamas supporters in West Bank in one of the largest crackdown against the Islamic movement, Hamas said on Sunday.

In a statement sent to the media, Hamas said the forces rounded up 44 of its supporters and members in most of West Bank towns last night and early Sunday.

The detainees included two journalists who were arrested in Ramallah and Salfeet, the statement said. Mosque Imams and university students were also among the detainees.

The forces are loyal to president Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah, Hamas' bitter rival.

Since June 2007, when Hamas routed pro-Abbas forces and seized control of Gaza, the two sides clamped down against their political dissidents, Hamas supporters in West Bank and Fatah members in Gaza.

Last month, Hamas thwarted an Egyptian initiative to reconcile it with Fatah by boycotting the sessions of the Cairo-hosted Palestinian national dialogue, citing the arresting of its supporters in the West Bank. Egypt delayed the dialogue.


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