Photo: Reuters
Palestinian gunmen (Archive photos)
Photo: Reuters

Dozens injured in Gaza clashes

Hamas activists from Islamic University in Gaza clashed with students from Fatah over comments by Khaled Mashaal who accused Fatah of cooperating with Israel

Serious clashes erupted on Saturday afternoon in Gaza between Fatah and Hamas supporters. At least 20 people were injured when students from the two organizations clashed over comments by Khaled Mashaal, who accused Fatah of cooperating with Israel. Three Palestinians were moderately injured. In the course of the clashes, grenades were fired, and Molotov cocktails were thrown. The clashes spread to other areas in Gaza.


The clash broke out in Gaza's Universities neighborhood. Hamas activists arrived from the Islamic University and Fatah activists arrived from the al-Azhar University. The clashes in Gaza are a peak in the current wave of tension flooding the territories following comments by Mashaal. Thousands of Fatah activists have been demonstrating since the night hours in Gaza, as well as cities in the West Bank. Among demonstrators are many gunmen who have exploited the tensions to display power.


Fatah outraged


In the afternoon, Fatah and al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades members held a press conference in Gaza and Nablus, in which they vowed not to let Hamas insult the honor of Fatah. Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades said their members would participate in any security forces set up by the new government.


Fatah activists also accused the government of failing to pay their salaries, despite paying the Hamas military wing members.


The head of Mahmoud Abbas' Office, Rafiq al-Husseini, arrived in Gaza in an attempt to solve the crisis that broke out between the sides following the establishment of a new defense apparatus and the appointment of Jamal Abu Samhadana as Director-General of the Palestinian interior ministry.


The Palestinian government insists on continuing the activities of the new force and reject calls to cancel the appointment.


At the same time Hamas heads in the territories and government ministries are calling for restraint following Mashaal's comments. Hamas members said off the record that "it would be preferable had the things not been said." Fatah is continuing to demand that Mashaal apologizes.


פרסום ראשון: 04.22.06, 17:02
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