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PA forces 'seize Hamas documents, weapons'

Oct. 16, 2012 7:12 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 18, 2012 11:54 A.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Palestinian Authority security services have confiscated documents and weapons belonging to Hamas' military wing in the West Bank, an official said Tuesday.

A security official told Ma'an that the preventive security force uncovered a stash of documents, computers, CDs and ammunition belonging to the Al-Qassam Brigades in an apartment in a residential block in west Nablus.

The official described the stash as the brigade's "complete archives" in the West Bank.

The discovery followed a lengthy investigation and surveillance, the official said on condition of anonymity. He declined to give further details as the investigation is ongoing.

Hamas said Monday that 10 of its supporters were detained in the West Bank over the past 24 hours. Three others were summoned for questioning, a Hamas statement said.

Fatah, which dominates the West Bank government, also released a statement saying Hamas' government in Gaza had summoned its spokesman in the territory.

Hamas 'bunker'

In September, Palestinian Authority security services said forces discovered an underground bunker used by Hamas members in the northern West Bank.

Officials said at the time that a long tunnel under Urif village, near Nablus, led to a room next to a small bunker containing communication equipment.

PA security forces rounded up scores of Hamas supporters the same month in a campaign that sparked criticism from Palestinian human rights groups.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights condemned the campaign and called on the Palestinian government in Ramallah to fully comply with the law and stop political arrests.

Hamas seized control of Gaza in a brief civil war in 2007, ushering in a half decade of rivalry with Fatah-dominated authorities in the West Bank.

A reconciliation deal signed by Fatah and Hamas in May 2011 entailed pledges to stop politically motivated arrests, but the agreement has not been implemented.
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