Gaza Security Makes Arrests following Attacks

Security forces in the Gaza Strip have made several arrests linked to a spate of attacks on Fatah and Hamas officials in the coastal territory, an interior ministry official said Tuesday.

Iyad al-Bazi, spokesperson of the ministry, said further announcements would be made following the arrests, without further details on the identify or motivation of the suspects.

“Security services in Gaza are taking more measures on the ground in order to impose security and stability and to not allow more security breaches, which have occurred in the recent period.”

Al-Bazi said the job of security forces in Gaza was becoming increasingly difficult as a lack of fuel has meant a reduction in car patrols.

Many members of the security forces have also not been paid for months, yet are still forced to work around the clock, he added.

The recent violence was in a large part related to “internal organizational conflicts in Fatah,” he added, without providing further details.

Gaza has recently been rocked by a series of attacks targeting mainly Fatah officials, but also Hamas affiliates.

On Monday, masked gunmen attempted to assassinate Fatah official Mamoon Sweidan in Gaza City. Two of his bodyguards were injured during a gunfight with the suspects.

On Sunday, attackers in Gaza poured flammable liquid on the car of Fatah official Abed al-Munim Ramadan Tahrawi before setting it ablaze, while earlier in the day the car of a senior official in the former Hamas-run government was set on fire.

In January, the car of Fatah official Adil Udeid was set on fire in Gaza after flammable liquid was poured on the vehicle, while unidentified assailants also blew up a car belonging to Fatah leader Ahmad Alwan in Gaza City.

On Jan. 20, unidentified assailants blew up a private car belonging to a security officer of the former Hamas-run government in Gaza City.

The incidents have triggered angry exchanges between Hamas and Fatah leaders, potentially endangering the unity government that was agreed upon in April after seven years of political division between the West Bank and Gaza.

(Ma’an – www.maannews.net)

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