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Fatah accuses Hamas of arrested leader in Gaza.

The mainstream Palestinian Fatah faction has accused Islamist Hamas of arresting a Fatah leader in the Gaza Strip, the Kuwaiti daily AL WATAN reported Thursday. In an official statement released by Fatah on Wednesday, the faction said Hamas security forces in the Gaza Strip arrested Fatah official Salah Abu Khatla, responsible for managing ties with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Fatah said the arrest came as part of "a series of arrests and continuous questionings and aggressive acts against Fatah leaders in the Gaza Strip, which show that Hamas does not want Palestinian reconciliation."

The two factions have been deeply divided since 2006 when Hamas won parliamentary elections and forcibly ousted Fatah forces from the Gaza Strip 18 months later. A de facto Hamas government currently rules the Gaza Strip, while the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority governs the West Bank. Efforts to reconcile the two factions after Israel's onslaught on the territory from December 2008-January 2009, headed by Egypt, failed. Hamas refused to sign an Egypt-proposed reconciliation paper last year, accusing the U.S. of introducing last-minute amendments to the paper. Recent efforts headed by the Palestinian Authority to reconcile the two factions failed as Hamas and Fatah could not agree upon whether to take into consideration the Islamist faction's concerns on the paper or to introduce them directly as amendments to it.
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Publication:The Daily Middle East Reporter (Beirut, Lebanon)
Date:Jul 2, 2010
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