Gaza Strip: Fatah leaders arrested
Hamas forces seized the leaders of Fatah in Gaza early Friday, Fatah officials said. Hamas security officers seized some 15 senior Fatah members from their homes in the roundup, the Fatah officials said, according to the AP.
The men arrested Friday included three Fatah-affiliated district governors and the two highest Gaza representatives of the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, the officials said.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the arrests were a response to Fatah's seizures of "Hamas political leaders" in the West Bank.
Abdullah Abdullah, a Fatah lawmaker in the West Bank, condemned the arrests as an attempt to "perpetuate division" among Palestinians.
Both groups have recently carried out arrest sweeps targeting rivals in the territories they control. Several of the men arrested by Hamas on Friday had already been seized in the past and later released.
Abbas issued an order Thursday to free the detainees being held by Fatah, but none had been released by Friday.