Hamas, Fatah clashes leaves six killed in Gaza

By Xinhua

Ramallah : Six people killed and thirty wounded Monday night as hundreds of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement supporters clashed with Hamas movement’s police in Gaza Strip.

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Palestinian medics at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis said that two Hamas police men were shot dead by unknown militants. Hamas police accused Fatah militants for killing them.

Hospital officials in Gaza said that four more civilians were killed in other Gaza Strip areas, including a child, an old man and two Fatah members, adding that all had been shot by Hamas police gunfire.

Witnesses said that Hamas security forces prevented Fatah supporters all-over Gaza Strip from marking the 43-year-anniversary for their movement’s founding.

Hamas’ decision was a response to preventing its supporters from celebrating their movement’s outbreak in the West Bank two weeks ago.

The witnesses said that thousands took to the streets Monday night, chanting slogans and waving the yellow flags of their movement, adding that Hamas police officers opened fire and beat up dozens of them.

Medics said that more than 30 people were injured, 15 others were beaten up by Hamas police forces in the city of Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip as well as in northern Gaza Strip.

Hamas police forces arrested top Fatah leader Ibrahim Abu al-Najja from his home in Gaza City, al-Najja’s wife told reporters. Al-Najja was accused by Hamas for inciting Fatah supporters for violence.

Meanwhile, witnesses said that Fatah supporters celebrated in Gaza City with fireworks, where sounds of fireworks explosions and its flashes could be clearly seen covering Gaza sky.

President Abbas called on Hamas movement Monday to end its control of Gaza Strip and resume the dialogue to end the ongoing internal Palestinian crisis.

Abbas addressed a televised speech Monday night in the occasion of 43 years for Fatah movement founding. In his speech, Abbas presented an initiative of reconciliation with Hamas movement.

“I call those in Hamas movement, who led the illegal military coup against the legitimate Palestinian leadership in Gaza to open a new page and a new era based on calm dialogue,” said Abbas.

Abbas slammed Hamas movement and its police forces for preventing, by force, his Fatah movement’s supporters in the Gaza Strip from celebrating the 43 year anniversary for Fatah outbreak.

“I would say that any coup or military rebellion all-over the world has ended whatever time it takes, therefore I call on the leaders of the coup let’s start with dialogue, dialogue, dialogue,” said Abbas.

Hamas movement, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Europe and the United States, ousted President Abbas security forces and took control of the Gaza Strip in mid June last year.

“As a president, who was elected by the Palestinian people, I have several choices, if Hamas movement doesn’t want to end its coup in Gaza. Why don’t we go for early presidential and legislative elections,” said Abbas.