Palestinian police arrest 36 Hamas supporters

Palestinian security forces arrested 36 Hamas supporters, many of them professors and students, the Islamic militant group said Thursday, signaling a widening crackdown by Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Palestinian police spokesman Adnan Damiri confirmed that arrests were made, but would not say how many persons are held. The arrests come less than two weeks after a pair of deadly shootouts between security forces and Hamas militants in the West Bank town of Qalqiliya left nine people dead, including four police officers. Abbas started going after Hamas two years ago when the terror group overran Gaza, leaving him only in control of the West Bank.