By Scott Wilson Washington Post Foreign Service Friday, June 15, 2007; 8:56 AM
JERUSALEM, June 15 -- Victorious Hamas gunmen rounded up senior military leaders of the Fatah movement in the Gaza Strip early Friday, then announced a general amnesty in a sign the Islamic movement is seeking to reconcile with its secular rivals after five days of fierce fighting.
As world leaders planned to confer on the fast-moving events, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas moved to restructure the crumbling Palestinian government, naming independent lawmaker Salam Fayyad as prime minister a day after dismissing Hamas' leader from the post.
The amnesty announcement defused worries that Hamas, which completed its swift military seizure of Gaza hours earlier, would begin dispensing victor's justice in the strip. In announcing the arrest of the commanders of the vanquished Fatah-controlled security services, Hamas officials called them 'collaborators,' a label indicating they work on behalf of Israel and can often mean a death sentence in the Palestinian territories.
But a few hours later, as Gaza residents emerged from their homes to walk in streets quiet for the first time in days, Hamas officials said the commanders, including the head of the Fatah-controlled Pre"