Hamas claimed Friday that two of its members were kidnapped by hooded gunmen who apparently belong to the Palestinian Authority security forces or Fatah. The gunmen, who were wearing PA police uniforms, failed to kidnap a third Hamas member, the terror group said.
According to Hamas, the two members were kidnapped in north Gaza as they were walking from their university to their homes in the Shati refugee camp.
The sources said eyewitnesses reported that a car, which apparently contained PA police officers, blocked the two near the Shati police station; the armed passengers, who were wearing PA police uniforms, proceeded to step out of the car, grab the two Hamas members and forcefully put them in the vehicle.
The kidnapped members have not been seen since the incident, Hamas said.
Notably, the Shati refugee camp was the scene of recent confrontations between Hamas terrorists and PA security forces; Shati Police Deputy Commander Ali Makawi, who was gunned down Sunday night, apparently by Hamas terrorists.
No talks expected soon
During Makawi’s funeral Monday PA police officers stormed the Palestinian Legislative Council building and started firing once inside the compound in protest of the PA’s inability to contain Hamas. The police officers chanted, “It’s either Hamas or the PA,” and “Give us more weapons and ammunition.”
Following the report of the kidnappings Hamas members used the loudspeaker system of a number of mosques in Balata and other Gaza City neighborhoods to say that the organization may lose its patience and restraint in case the two members are not released by their abductors.
Hamas sources claimed the Palestinian Police in Shati positioned snipers on the rooftops of the local police station’s and nearby buildings to deter residents and Hamas members.
Meanwhile, Fatah sources said the organization would be forced to respond to Hamas’ recent acts. Since the fighting between the Palestinian groups broke out a few days ago the Egypt, along with the Supreme Committee of the Palestinian organizations, has made every effort to pacify the rivaling sides and promote continued talks between Hamas and the PA.
On Monday PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas discussed the situation in Gaza with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. During their phone conversation, Abbes updated the president on the prevailing anarchy and demanded that Egypt intervene and request that Hamas refrain for carrying out additional acts of violence.
Palestinian sources said Mubarak promised that the Egyptian security delegation to Gaza will do its best to calm the situation down.
The sources said that another round of talks between the Palestinian organizations is not expected anytime soon, but added that deliberations may take place prior to the PA general elections, scheduled for January.