Pro-Abbas forces arrest ten Hamas members in West Bank

RAMALLAH, The Palestinian security forces of President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday arrested ten members of Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in the West Bank, Hamas said in a statement. The detentions took place in the West Bank cities of Nablus, Qalqilya, Jenin and Tulkarem, said the statement, adding that two teachers and an Imam of a mosque were among those arrested.

It is the latest detentions after formation of the committee to end politically-motivated arrests that pro-Abbas forces conducted against Hamas members in the West Bank and Hamas staged against Fatah loyalists in the Gaza Strip.

The mutual crackdowns between the two rival movements began last year after Hamas routed pro-Abbas forces in Gaza, ousted his Fatah movement and took over control of the coastal Strip.

Meanwhile, the national committee against political detention, which is made up of independent lawmakers, lawyers and human rights activists, started its work in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank to end the case.

Sources from the committee said the timetable for ending this case was the end of this month. Its representatives met Palestinian President Abbas in Ramallah and deposed Hamas Interior Minister Said Siam in Gaza for the purpose.

According to Palestinian sources, Fatah says Hamas holds 140 of its supporters in the Gaza Strip while Hamas says pro-Abbas forces hold 270 Islamists in the West Bank.

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