Cracks Appear in New Palestinian Government

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Palestinian unity once again looked more like a mirage than reality Monday when P.A. police forces broke up a Hamas demonstration in Ramallah, stopping a 30-car convoy and confiscating Hamas banners, according to an Associated Press report.
 
On Sunday, Palestinian security forces arrested 16 Hamas supporters in Nablus (biblical Shechem), Hebron and the Ramallah district, the semi-official Ma'an news agency reported.

Police also issued seven summonses to Hamas supporters in Ramallah, Bethlehem, Tubas, and Kalkilya.
 
According to the report, "political detentions" are threatening to drive a wedge between the two Palestinian factions, Hamas and the Fatah-led PLO.
 
One dispute centers on who's responsible for the salaries of 50,000 government employees.
 
Last week, Hamas security officers prevented P.A. employees from withdrawing their salaries until former government employees are paid.

Previous attempts to forge unity between Palestinian Hamas and Fatah factions have failed.

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