Tags: Fatah | Force | Seizes | Hamas | Station | West | Bank

Fatah Force Seizes Hamas TV Station in West Bank

Tuesday, 12 June 2007 12:00 AM

RAMALLAH, West Bank -- Palestinian Presidential Guards stormed the offices of a Hamas-controlled television station in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Tuesday and seized equipment, Palestinian officials said.

The station later said three staff were detained and Hamas demanded their release.

The raid on al-Aqsa Television by a force loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas of the Fatah movement was the clearest instance of factional conflict in the otherwise calm West Bank since clashes between Fatah and Hamas broke out in the Gaza Strip on Saturday.

The station was still on air, apparently broadcasting from its main base in Gaza, where the Islamist Hamas movement has its main power base. The station said three of its staff were held by Abbas's Presidential Guard in the raid in Ramallah.

Senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri said he held Abbas personally responsible for the lives of the three, whom he described as journalists. He demanded their release and said they were being held at the presidential compound in Ramallah.

A Hamas party official and a Hamas radio station also said an official of the Transport Ministry, who is also a Hamas member, had been seized by gunmen in Ramallah. The party official said Faidi Shabani was snatched by unidentified men as he stood outside his office building in the city.

Ramallah, the main administrative centre for the two Palestinian territories, has been little touched by factional violence that has killed, by one estimate, more than 600 people since Hamas won a parliamentary election January last year.

Ramallah houses Abbas's presidential offices and Fatah, the secular movement once led by the late Yasser Arafat, is generally stronger in the West Bank. Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas is based in Gaza.

© reuters 2007. All Rights Reserved.

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RAMALLAH, West Bank -- Palestinian Presidential Guards stormed the offices of a Hamas-controlled television station in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Tuesday and seized equipment, Palestinian officials said. The station later said three staff were detained and Hamas...
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2007-00-12
Tuesday, 12 June 2007 12:00 AM
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