Palestinian Clashes Continue- Brutalities Reported- 18 Dead
Hamas TV: We have taken over northern Gaza!
But… shortly after airing the report, the station was attacked by PA security forces and forced to play pro-Fatah songs.
Hospitals were turned into battlegrounds in the latest round of fighting between Hamas and Fatah militants that has killed 18 people in 24 hours despite a new ceasefire- AFP.
Palestinian women react after senior Fatah leader Jamal Abu al-Jedian was killed during fighting between Hamas and Fatah militants in the northern Gaza Strip June 12, 2007. (REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)
Hamas militants surrounded the headquarters of Fatah-allied forces in northern Gaza today. The militants then began shelling the building where 500 security officers were holed up.
The AP reported:
Abbas’ Fatah movement was to meet later in the day to decide whether to pull out of his shaky coalition with Hamas. Calls by Abbas and exasperated Egyptian mediators for a cease-fire went unheeded.
Instead, Hamas and Fatah militants threatened to kill each other’s leaders. In Gaza, a rocket-propelled grenade damaged the home of Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas but caused no injuries in what Hamas said was an attempted assassination. In the West Bank, Fatah gunmen kidnapped a deputy Cabinet minister from Hamas.
Heavy gunbattles erupted in several locations in Gaza.
Some 200 Hamas fighters surrounded the headquarters of Fatah-allied forces in northern Gaza, a key prize for Hamas. The attackers fired mortar shells and RPGs at the compound, where some 500 security officers were holed up.
“They are attacking from all sides,” said one of the officers, Khaled Awad.
Earlier in the day Fatah fighters seized a Hamas-run television station in the West Bank.
Palestinians gather in front of a burnt building in Gaza. Gunmen from rival Palestinian factions fought street battles in Gaza in a new surge of deadly violence that threatens to topple the government and drive the territory closer to civil war.(AFP/Mahmud Hams)
The factional violence has been extremely brutal, reported Reuters:
Interspersed with drive-by shootings and rocket-propelled grenade attacks, both sides have shown extraordinary flashes of brutality in recent days.
A member of Abbas’s Force 17 security service was the first to be thrown off a 15-storey building. A few hours later, Hamas accused Fatah of throwing a Hamas supporter off another building.
Fatah supporters gunned down a Hamas cleric outside his mosque. In another extraordinary attack, a top Fatah militant with ties to President Mahmoud Abbas’s national security adviser, Mohammad Dahlan, was dragged out of his home and shot 40 times by Hamas gunmen, medics said.
Mohammad Ahmed-Hassan, a 35-year-old teacher, said “Gaza is finished”, calling the rash of killings “genocide”.
PR-Inside has more on the brutality:
A hospital doctor is seized after attending his brother’s police graduation ceremony and shot in the legs because of his suspected Hamas sympathies. A 72-year-old retired fisherman is beaten up in a mosque for tearing down Hamas posters…
Last week, Dr. Fayez al-Barrawi, a 29-year old physician at a north Gaza hospital, was attending a graduation ceremony for the newest recruits of the Presidential Guard, an elite force loyal to Abbas. One of al-Barrawi’s brothers was among the graduates, and the doctor, a Hamas supporter, videotaped the event, held at the Presidential Guard’s heavily fortified compound.
Al-Barrawi, who wears a close-cropped beard, often a sign of association with Hamas, said that while filming he was approached by armed men who accused him of spying for Hamas. The doctor said he was dragged away, bundled into a jeep, blindfolded, handcuffed and driven to another location.
There, he was interrogated, beaten, dumped in a field, then shot six times in the legs and one of his kneecaps. Al-Barrawi now lies in a hospital, with metal rods in his legs, and doctors say he might need a year to heal.
Palestinians run out of Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh’s office during a shooting in Gaza June 11, 2007. Gunmen fired on the offices of Haniyeh on Monday, disrupting a cabinet meeting, just hours after the Islamist group and Fatah faction agreed to an Egyptian-brokered truce. (REUTERS/Mohammed Salem)
One hospital patient was killed by militants in the operating room at a major hospital.
Maan News reported:
The Beit Hanoun Hospital, in northern Gaza, has been closed following a series of violent incidents on Monday. “Four patients were killed inside the hospital including one in the operating theatre and as many as 10 others wounded. The hospital was evacuated and later damaged,” read the statement.
The Ash Shifa Hospital in Gaza City has become the location of intense conflict between rival groups that exchanged fire within the hospital and from locations nearby.
A Fatah spokesman, Maher Miqdad, blamed Iran for the violence.