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18 Hamas members detained in West Bank

By Xinhua

Ramallah : Palestinian security forces loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas have detained 18 Hamas members in the West Bank in one of the largest crackdown against the Islamic movement, Hamas said Wednesday.

In a press release, Hamas accused the Palestinian intelligence service, which is loyal to Abbas’ Fatah movement, of carrying out most of the detentions in the West Bank city Ramallah.

Other arrests were reported in Tulkarem Nablus and Hebron cities.

The campaign against Hamas supporters in the West Bank was launched in response to the deadly infighting in June between pro-Abbas security forces and Hamas militias in Gaza Strip.

The fighting ended with Hamas routing Fatah and taking over the Gaza Strip.

Since mid-June when Hamas men overran Abbas’ Fatah militants and seized control of the Gaza Strip, Fatah’s security forces havebeen constantly accused by Hamas of intensifying efforts to crack down on Hamas members and prevent a possible repeated scenario in the West Bank.

Meanwhile, Hamas had detained Palestinians loyal to Abbas’ Fatah movement in the Gaza Strip, saying, “they want to bring back the status of lawlessness to the Gaza Strip.”