Palestinian group Fatah has accused rival Hamas movement of arresting more than 500 group members in the Gaza Strip.
“More than 500 Fatah leaders and members have been arrested by Hamas-run security agencies since Sunday,” Fatah spokesman Atef Abu Seif said in a statement on Monday.
He said the arrests were in response to “Fatah’s insistence on celebrating the 54th anniversary of its foundation in Gaza”.
Founded in 1965, Fatah is led by Ramallah-based Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Abu Seif said posters and pamphlets of Fatah’s celebration of its foundation have been seized by security agencies.
“Fatah members are being subjected to abductions, home raids and mistreatment,” Abu Seif claimed.
There was no comment from Hamas or the Interior Ministry on the accusations.
Hamas and Fatah have been at odds since the former seized control of Gaza in 2007 from Fatah after street fighting.
Last month, delegations from the two rival groups held talks with Egyptian officials in Cairo with a view to ending the inter-Palestinian division.
These talks were one of dozens of rounds -- in Cairo and several Arab capitals -- between Hamas and Fatah since the start of the Palestinian rift in 2007, but the talks have yet to bear fruit.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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