Gaza Strip: Over 20 wounded as Hamas arrests Fatah followers
Over 20 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip were injured early Saturday as violence sparked after Hamas forces detained some 20 members and supporters of rival Fatah in one of Hamas' largest sweeps since it took over the territory less than two months ago.
According to Reuters, Fatah and Hamas spokesmen said at least four senior Fatah members were arrested in the northern town of Beit Hanoun. "Four Fatah leaders were arrested not because of who they are, but for violating public security," said Saber Khalifa, a spokesman for Hamas' Executive Force.
Eyewitnesses in Beit Hanoun reported Hamas forces fired into the air to disperse relatives of the detainees, mainly women, who protested the arrests. Television also showed Hamas men later raiding several weddings near the area. Locals threw stones while the forces fired back and in the air.
A Fatah source said Hamas forces also detained at least 15 supporters of the group in Khan Younis, located in south Gaza Strip. Fatah spokesman in the West Bank Fahmi al-Za'areer told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa that Hamas militia attacked overnight dozens of people staging a spontaneous protest in the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun.