Special to WorldTribune.com
RAMALLAH — The Palestinian Authority has reported a Hamas crackdown on the Fatah movement in the Gaza Strip.
PA officials said Hamas rounded up hundreds of Fatah activists amid the war with Israel. They said the activists were either imprisoned or confined to house arrest and ordered not to hold meetings or issue statements.
“Those that violated the house arrests were shot,” PA police spokesman Brig. Gen. Adnan Dumeiri said.
Addressing a seminar in Ramallah on Aug. 19, Dumeiri did not say how many Fatah activists were shot by Hamas. The police official said some of the injured were taken to hospitals in the West Bank and Jordan.
Officials said the Hamas crackdown encompassed the entire Fatah leadership in the Gaza Strip. They said close to 300 activists were interrogated and confined.
The Hamas war with Israel has strained the Palestinian reconciliation deal, which included a unity government in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. On Aug. 18, the PA expressed concern over what Israel said was a Hamas plot to overthrow the regime of chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
For his part, Abbas issued a statement that the PA was investigating the Israeli report that Hamas planned a military coup. Israel has arrested nearly 100 alleged Hamas operatives as well as seized scores of assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades.
“The president has instructed authorities to examine what was reported in the Israeli media regarding the arrest of a Hamas group that plotted a oup against the PA in the West Bank,” Abbas’ office said in a statement.
“This new information represents a genuine danger to the unity of the Palestinian people and their future.”