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Gaza armed group says Hamas arrested seven fighters

May 26, 2009 4:46 P.M. (Updated: May 26, 2009 4:46 P.M.)
Gaza - Ma'an - A Palestinian armed group said Hamas security forces arrested seven of its members who were on a "Jihad mission" against Israeli forces in the southern Gaza Strip.

The Jaysh Al-Umma (Army of the Nation) group said the men were detained near the city of Khan Younis.

In a statement the group said it held Hamas' Internal Security force accountable for the safety of its fighters and for any attempt to torture or interrogate them. "Our struggle is aimed against Israeli occupation only, and we will not be dragged towards inter-Palestinian rivalry which only serves our Israeli enemies," the statement read.

The statement concluded by calling on Muslim scholars to express their standpoint towards arrest of fighters and confiscation of their weapons. It also called on the Hamas de facto government to stop what it said was a campaign of arrests against the Jaysh Al-Umma.

Hamas has not yet responded to this report. Recent reports indicate that the Gaza government has been restraining armed insurgents from attacking Israel in an attempt to maintain calm. Publicly, Hamas has denied these reports.

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