Hamas arrests Fatah members in Gaza Strip

GAZA, Nov. 10 – Hamas forces arrested groups of “Fatah-aligned cells,” saying they were planning to carry out “operations aimed at restoring anarchy and disorder” in the Gaza Strip, said Ihab al-Ghussein, spokesman of Hamas interior ministry, on Monday. “The three groups were receiving orders from a minister in the illegal government of Ramallah to assassinate Hamas members and blow up some of their cars,” he said.

Meanwhile, al-Ghussein said his government has “concrete information” that members of Fatah will arouse disturbances in the Gaza Strip in the eve of the fourth anniversary of their late leader Yasser Arafat’s death.

Hamas has put its forces into alert as it decided to prevent Fatah supporters from marking Arafat’s anniversary which falls on Nov. 11. Last year, 12 people were killed when Hamas crushed a rally marking the anniversary.

Hamas controls the Gaza Strip since it routed security forces of President Mahmoud Abbas and ousted his Fatah movement in June 2007. Abbas consolidated his rule in the West Bank and fired a Hamas-led cabinet but Hamas rejected to recognize his decisions.

Meanwhile, Hamas accused pro-Abbas forces of arresting 35 members and supporters of the Islamic movement in a crackdown in the West Bank city of Hebron.

“More than 50 vehicles belonging to the security services stormed Bani Naim neighborhood in eastern Hebron this dawn and conducted the arrests,” Hamas said in a statement.

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