A young Palestinian crawls under an obstacle during a military-style graduation ceremony at a summer camp in Gaza.
(photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMMED SALEM)
Hamas security forces have rounded up scores of Fatah activists in the Gaza Strip aimed at foiling Fatah’s plans to celebrate the 51st anniversary of its founding later this week, Fatah officials said on Monday.
Among those detained by Hamas are prominent leaders of Fatah in different parts of the Gaza Strip, the officials said.
They condemned the crackdown on their activists in Strip and said it would sabotage efforts to achieve reconciliation between the two rival parties.
Ibrahim Abu al-Naja, a senior Fatah official in Gaza, said his faction planned to celebrate its anniversary in spite of the Hamas clampdown with rallies in the southern part of the Strip to mark the occasion.
Last year, Fatah was forced to cancel celebrations marking the 10th anniversary of the death of Yasser Arafat after a spate of bombing attacks that targeted the homes and vehicles of top Fatah leaders in Gaza.
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah also canceled a planned visit to the Gaza Strip following the bombings, which Fatah accused Hamas of being behind, though senior Hamas officials had claimed the attacks were the result of internecine fighting among Fatah leaders.