Seemingly bored with just launching rockets at, and blowing up Israelis, Fatah and Hamas are once again turning on each other
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Hamas security forces fanned out across a tense Gaza Strip on Sunday, following a mysterious weekend car bombing that killed six people and sparked the toughest Hamas crackdown against its Fatah rivals in
Human rights groups said Hamas released over a dozen of the at least 160 Fatah men it arrested Saturday in connection with the bombing a day earlier, which killed five Hamas men and a 6-year-old girl. But Hamas police remained deployed in force around Gaza City, manning roadblocks and checking cars.
Fatah has denied involvement in the blast. But Hamas said Sunday that Palestinian security forces loyal to moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas have arrested 36 Hamas activists across the West Bank in retaliation for the arrests of the Fatah members.
After nightfall, Hamas released Ahmed Nasser, a Fatah leader, because of his health problems, family members said.
In Cairo, Abbas called for renewed talks between Fatah and Hamas.
The Islamic Hamas and the largely secular Fatah carried on a violent rivalry for control in Gaza for years. In June 2007, Hamas routed Fatah’s forces and seized control of the territory. There have been few signs of Fatah resistance since.
Fatah’s Abbas controls the West Bank and is holding peace talks with Israel.
Violence erupted in one Gaza City neighborhood on Sunday when Hamas police exchanged fire with members of a small militia known as the Army of Islam during a raid targeting the group, a militia spokesman said. It was not immediately clear if the operation was connected with the broader crackdown.
One militiaman was killed and several people were wounded, though it was not immediately clear if they were from the militia or Hamas, a Gaza medical official said.
The Army of Islam is not allied with Fatah, but is heavily armed and is seen by Hamas as a threat to the public stability it has largely managed to enforce since taking control of Gaza a year ago.
Gunfire was audible from a Gaza City neighborhood dominated by the group.
This is the religion of peace, its followers doing what they do best. Killing each other when kuffars are out of reach. I weep for the little girl caught in the crossfire of these savages.
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