Palestinian security forces arrested more than 250 Hamas members in an overnight sweep throughout the West Bank after the Islamic militant group claimed responsibility for shooting dead four Israelis ahead of new Mideast peace talks.
With the Wednesday arrests, the government of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas appeared to be trying to send a message to its Hamas rivals and to Israel that it is committed to the new peace talks. Hamas condemned the crackdown as "treason", Los Angeles Times reports.
Hamas said in a statement that the security forces also ordered dozens of Hamas movement's supporters and activists to report to the headquarters of the security services in most of the West Bank areas.
Meanwhile, Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza, said that the Hebron attack "shows the failure of the security liaison between Abbas security forces and the Israeli occupation to strike on the armed Palestinian resistance", Xinhua informs.