Death toll rises in Gaza Strip as Fatah arrests Hamas members in West Bank
Members of the Palestinian security forces allied to Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah have made a large number of arrests of Hamas activists in the West Bank.
According to the AP, the arrest operation came even as Abbas and Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas agreed late Wednesday on the need to bring an end to the fighting between their movements, which killed over 30 people throughout the day in the Gaza Strip.
The two leaders issued their joint statement after nightfall Wednesday, calling on all sides to stop fighting, and "return to the language of dialogue."
Despite the call, a Hamas fighter died early Thursday in clashes with Fatah gunmen in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah.
At around the same time, three bodies were brought to Gaza City's Shifa hospital, bringing the total death toll in the four-day campaign to over 60. Of that number, 33 were killed Wednesday.
Hamas appeared to be in control of much of the Gaza Strip on Wednesday. Hundreds of senior Fatah officials fearing for their lives requested Wednesday that Israel evacuate them from Gaza by sea. Diplomats said a top aide to Abbas told them that some of the Fatah leader's men ran for their lives.