Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Seven Dead in Palestinian Clashes

Iran Daily

GAZA STRIP, Occupied Palestine, Oct. 1--Rival Palestinian security forces clashed across the Gaza Strip on Sunday, killing seven and injuring 50 others, in the biggest outbreak of internal fighting in months over unpaid wages and stalled unity government talks. Violence also erupted in the West Bank city of Ramallah where supporters of President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah started a small fire inside the offices of the Hamas-led government, Reuters reported.

The flare-up stoked fears of civil war as the rival forces, loyal to the Islamist Hamas movement and Abbas, fired at each other from rooftops near parliament building in Gaza City. Smoke from burning tyres wafted overhead as pedestrians ran for cover.
Gunmen killed a security officer and wounded another in a drive-by shooting on their car, witnesses and medics said.

Three Palestinian civilians, including a boy, as well as a Hamas militant and another Palestinian security officer were killed in the clashes. A member of Abbas’s presidential guard was shot dead in a firefight near Abbas’s Gaza home.
Most of those wounded in Gaza City and the town of Khan Younis were civilians, including schoolchildren, medics said. A cameraman for Al-Arabiya television was also among the wounded.

Fatah and Hamas traded blame for the violence, which came as about 50 Israeli tanks pushed into northern Gaza, Palestinian security sources said. The army said the incursion was aimed at preventing militants from firing make-shift rockets into Israel.

Palestinian tensions rose after Interior Minister Saeed Seyam of Hamas ordered his security forces to take to the streets to prevent further violence by striking policemen demanding overdue salaries.

Abbas has been locked in an increasingly bitter power struggle with the government of Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh over stalled efforts to form a unity coalition after Hamas trounced Fatah in parliamentary elections in January.

Comment: They are near agreement with Fatah-this group? Really!

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