Israel stops Fatah fighters from returning to Gaza
There is currently a debate being waged in Israel over what is the best thing to do with the Gaza Fatah fighters who left after rival political group Hamas took power in elections there. Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas insists that they need to come back to Gaza so Fatah can maintain a military presence there, but Israel says it fears for their safety if they return.
Fatah members from Gaza, who fled after clashes with rival Palestinian group Hamas, were today stopped from returning to the region after fears for their safety.
Israel decided to send dozens of Fatah fighters to the West Bank, ignoring an earlier decision by Fatah to keep a presence in Gaza.
Israel's defense ministry said it had halted the process after receiving information that the lives of the returnees were in "immediate danger".
The decision contradicts Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas's order that the 180 Fatah combatants return to Gaza, insisting that his forces need to retain a presence there.
But following Hamas's arrest of 32 Fatah soldiers returning to Gaza from Israel yesterday, the decision was reversed.