GAZA CITY (CNN) -- Most of the nearly 150 Fatah-allied Palestinians who escaped a Hamas crackdown in Gaza are still in limbo in Israel, waiting to get into the West Bank, Palestinian security sources said Sunday.
Fatah fighters fleeing Hamas in Gaza are detained at an Israeli army base Sunday at the Nahal Oz crossing.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Fatah party, asked Israel on Saturday to give the group safe passage from Gaza to the West Bank to escape bloody conflict with Hamas fighters.
But the status of the deal is unclear, as more than 100 members of the Hilles family clan were still waiting late Sunday to enter the Fatah-controlled West Bank, the sources said.
Twelve members of the clan arrived in Ramallah, West Bank, on Sunday, the sources said.
But between 20 and 30 others were refused permission to enter the West Bank and sent back to Gaza, where they were promptly taken into custody by Hamas authorities on Sunday morning, the sources and witnesses in Gaza said.
Another 15 members of the group were at the Erez border crossing waiting to leave Gaza, the sources said.
The rest are in limbo in Israel, amid reports that Abbas has reneged on his initial offer to give them safe haven in the West Bank. According to Israeli media reports, Abbas aides said the Fatah leader is turning the group back to maintain a presence in Hamas-controlled Gaza.
Palestinian security sources denied those reports, noting the government's permission to the 12 clan members to enter Ramallah.
An official with Abbas' office said that the Palestinians who were forced to return Sunday to Gaza were a group of youngsters who were not part of the Hilles family and did not have permission to enter the West Bank.
But a senior Israeli security source said they were part of the Hilles clan given clearance by Abbas and Israel. The rest of the group would be returned to Gaza in the next day or so, the source said.
The 150-member group arrived Saturday at a security checkpoint at the Nahal Oz border crossing between northern Gaza and Israel, the Israeli military said.
"They were asking to enter the state of Israel after being threatened by Hamas gunmen," according to an Israel Defense Forces spokesman.
The spokesman said the Palestinians were allowed to cross the border after they disarmed. Those who had been injured were taken for medical treatment. The spokesman said they would be asked about the events leading them to seek refuge in Israel.
It was a rare act that signaled Israel's support for the Fatah party led by Abbas. "It was a sort of humane gesture," the IDF spokesman said.
The Hamas and Fatah factions have been bitterly divided since Hamas drove Abbas' security forces from Gaza last year. Fatah's power base has since been anchored in the West Bank.
Hamas security forces in Gaza detained hundreds of people affiliated with Fatah after five Hamas militants and a child died July 25 in a beach bombing. Fatah sources say about 450 were apprehended.
Among the dead in the beach attack was Amar Musubah, a Hamas military commander, who had been the target of numerous assassination attempts by the Israeli military.
Hamas forces took control of the al-Shojaeya neighborhood in eastern Gaza City late Saturday, ending hours of deadly fighting between Hamas and the Hilles family, which is suspected of harboring Fatah members wanted in the beach bombing. Watch paramedics cart fighters to the hospital »
Fatah has denied responsibility for the beach bombing.
Hamas security forces had launched an early morning attack on the al-Shojaeya neighborhood that left four people -- two of them police -- dead and at least 60 others wounded. The forces began raiding houses in the 15-block neighborhood after the fighting died down, arresting at least 12 men Saturday night.
Earlier, the Hilles clan, a family known to support Fatah, refused Hamas police demands to hand over 20 activists suspected in the bomb attack, sources said. Hamas police then surrounded the family's home in al-Shojaeya, and a battle began with rocket-propelled grenades, rockets and rifles, sources said.
Hamas Interior Minister Hamas Interior Minister Said Siyam said in a news conference that four of the 20 activists were detained, and bomb-making materials were found. He questioned why so many people would have fled to Israel if they weren't guilty.
CNN's Shira Medding and journalist Talal Abu-Rahmi contributed to this report.
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