Hamas, Fatah trade accusations over supporters' arrest

13:59, December 21, 2009      

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Hamas and Fatah, the rival Palestinian factions, on Sunday traded accusations over arresting followers in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

Hamas forces, controlling Gaza since 2007, detained 24 members and supporters of President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah party over the past couple of days in northern Gaza Strip, Fatah said in a statement.

In the West Bank, Hamas said pro-Abbas forces have nabbed three of its members in Nablus city and summoned tens of people, including academics, loyal to the Islamic movement.

The two movements have been hunting down their opponents since Hamas routed pro-Abbas forces and seized control of the coastal Gaza Strip. Abbas' rule is confined to the West Bank.

In October, Hamas rejected to sign an Egyptian proposal to settle down the power struggle with Fatah and demanded an amendment to the offer. Egypt refuses to put its proposal for discussions.

The politically-motivated arrests was one of the obstacles that the factions tried hardly to overcome during a series of Cairo-hosted negotiations to broker a reconciliation deal.

Source: Xinhua
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