Iranian agents nabbed in Gaza, 1 commits suicide
Palestinian security forces arrest at least five Iranians at Hamas-linked university in Strip, say men sent by Iran to train Islamic group. Hamas commander believed to have orchestrated kidnapping of Israeli soldier Shalit injured in raid, report says
Palestinian security officers arrested at least five Iranian citizens during a raid at the Islamic University, a Hamas stronghold in Gaza City, a security official said. One of the Iranians committed suicide during the raid. Six to nine Palestinians were killed in the raid, sources said.
Early Friday, two Fatah-affiliated security men died in clashes in northern Gaza, hospital officials said. Eight people have died since Thursday, when violence erupted after a brief truce between Fatah and Hamas.
Hamas fighters blew up a pro-Fatah radio station in Gaza, ambulances were caught in the crossfire and gunmen exhanged machine gun fire in deserted streets as factional battles refused to let up in the chaotic coastal territory.
The raid on the Hamas-linked university in Gaza was carried out by national security forces affiliated with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Hundreds of weapons and a lathe for the production of Qassam rockets were seized in the raid.
A Hamas official denied the claim and said there were no Iranian citizens at the university.
The security official also said that during the raid a Hamas commander believed to have orchestrated the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier near the Gaza Strip in June last year suffered serious-to-moderate wounds.
Ahmad Jaabri is believed to have planned the cross-border raid carried out by gunmen of Hamas and two other Palestinian groups on June 12 during which Corp. Gilad Shalit was kidnapped.
The security forces also took control of Hamas-controlled government offices.
Twelve people died and over 70 were injured Thursday in exchanges of fire between Hamas and Fatah gunmen.
Hundred of security officers stormed the university, eyewitnesses said, and set fire to one of its building.
Hamas gunmen fired a rocket at the Gaza City office of Abbas, who was in Ramallah at the time.
Earlier Thursday, Hamas gunmen ambushed a Presidential Guards convoy, seizing weapons and explosives transferred by the United States and Arab countries to Abbas. Fatah denied the claim, saying that two boxes seized by Hamas contained medicines.
The raid came at the end of a day of clashes that collapsed a three-day truce between the warring factions. Iran has supplied Hamas with funds, but there have been no previous claims of Iranians working with Hamas in Gaza.