Fears of mass arrests by Hamas security forces following the clashes during a Fatah rally marking the third anniversary of Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat's death, are likely to keep many Gazans awake Monday night.
Earlier Monday Hamas security forces opened fire at the crowd during the rally, killing at least six Fatah supporters and wounding over 100. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas denounced Hamas' actions, calling them a "heinous crime." Abbas declared Tuesday a day of mourning in the Palestinian Authority.
Both sides blamed each other for the incident as Hamas claimed that their security forces opened fire in self-defense after Fatah supporters attacked them with stones. Hamas further said that Fatah gunmen positioned on the roof of al-Azhar University were first to open fire at Hamas forces.
Hamas government spokesman pointed the finger at Fatah and said that the government would deal with the offenders, a statement that Fatah perceive as a threat for a wave of arrests and other actions against the organization.
Fatah spokesmen said that Hamas security forces' actions would bring about a decline in the number of its supporters in the Strip and stressed that the massive turnout for the rally was the best response to Hamas' brutality.