Hamas arrests dozens of Fatah activists: Fatah

GAZA (Reuters) – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah group said Hamas forces arrested dozens of its activists in the GazaStrip on Thursday, undermining Egyptian efforts to reconcile the rival factions.

Egypt, which hopes to end the factional fighting after past Arab-led efforts failed, will host unity talks from November 9.

Tensions have remained high between the groups since Hamas Islamists seized the Gaza Strip in June 2007 after routing Fatah forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Hamas security men arrested between 30 and 50 senior Fatah activists in two raids in the southern Gaza town of Rafah, including a senior lawmaker, a Fatah spokesman said.

The Fatah spokesman said the arrests were an attempt by Hamas to sabotage the Cairo talks before they begin.

A Hamas government spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

Hamas has threatened to boycott the unity talks unless Fatah security forces released 400 Hamas activists being detained in the West Bank, where Abbas’s government is based.

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