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Hamas says Fatah Arrests 22 of Its Activists | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) – Hamas Islamists said on Saturday Fatah forces of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas arrested 22 of their activists in the West Bank in an attempt to sabotage Egyptian efforts to reconcile the rival factions.

A Palestinian security official in the city of Ramallah said police rounded up several men across the West Bank involved in hiding weapons, money laundering and incitement to violence but he denied the arrests were politically motivated.

He refused to give the number of men arrested.

Hamas spokesman Mushir al-Masri said its activists were arrested and that Abbas’s Fatah-dominated forces were pursuing a crackdown on the Islamist group in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Hamas and Fatah have been accusing each other of arresting rival activists. Tensions have been high between the groups since Hamas Islamists seized the Gaza Strip in June 2007 after routing forces loyal to Abbas.

During unity talks between Hamas and Fatah in Cairo earlier this month, Egypt set a July 7 deadline for a deal to bridge their divisions.