The split between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip took a new twist over the weekend as Hamas and Fatah announced different dates for the beginning of winter time. For the first time ever, winter time in the two areas will begin this year on different dates. And for the first time ever, the time in the two areas will be different by one hour for two or three days. In the past, the Palestinians - in a sign of political independence - used to change their clocks at different times from Israel. The Hamas government announced that it was moving the clock back an hour earlier at midnight on Thursday, heralding the beginning of winter time in Gaza. The Ramallah-based government of Prime Minister Salaam Fayad, on the other hand, announced that clocks will be switched back only at midnight Sunday, signifying the beginning of Ramadan. In Israel, the time change is expected to take place on October 5. In a related development, hundreds of physicians working in the public sector began a four-day strike Saturday in protest against the dismissal of scores of their colleagues by the Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health. In response, the Hamas security forces arrested Dr. Duhni al-Wahidi, head of the Physicians Syndicate in the Gaza Strip. The strike disrupted medical services in several hospitals in the Gaza Strip, including Shifa Hospital, the largest hospital in the area. Hamas officials accused the Palestinian Authority leadership in Ramallah of instigating the physicians' strike in a bid to undermine the Hamas government. They claimed that the strike was part of an attempt to drive the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to revolt against the Hamas government. School teachers in the Gaza Strip have also threatened to go on strike on the first day of the academic year this week. They too are protesting against the dismissal of hundreds of their colleagues by the Hamas government for "political reasons."