Palestinian security forces arrested a senior Hamas commander in the West Bank years after the Islamic movement announced his death, security sources said on Monday.
"We have arrested Rajab al-Sharif, 36, in the west of Nablus in a complicated operation that took two months of planning," the sources told Maan, an independent news agency based in Bethlehem.
The sources said al-Sharif was wanted by the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), adding that Hamas has announced the death of the senior commander within its military wing during the 2002 Operation Defensive Shield in which Israel reoccupied the West Bank.
The detention of al-Sharif came at the height of a power struggle between Hamas and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' secular Fatah movement following Hamas' violent takeover of the Gaza Strip in June 2007.
The two sides have been trading accusations over clampdown against their political dissidents in the territories they control-- Hamas' Gaza and Fatah's West Bank.