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Palestinian rivalries erupt in deadly violence
Cat : Axe of Evil
Date : 2006-10-03 18:26:24                      Reader : 300
plot intends to split our world to emerge it into civil war and bloodshed , as it is happening in Iraq, Palestine , and Lebanon in near future .


Associated France Press (AFP) 3/10/2006

Palestinian rivalries erupt in deadly violence


by Nasser Abu Bakr

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AFP) - The West Bank headquarters of the Palestinian government was set on fire as rivalry between the governing Islamist Hamas movement and the president's Fatah faction erupted in deadly violence.

In the bloodiest internecine feuding since Hamas came to power in March, eight people were killed and some 130 wounded in the Gaza Strip as security forces loyal to the rival factions engaged in fierce shootouts in the heart of the territory's main towns.

The deadliest exchange broke out near the parliament building in the centre of Gaza City. Two teenagers were among four people killed while scores more were wounded.

Two members of security forces loyal to president Mahmud Abbas were also killed in separate exchanges of fire with forces controlled by the Hamas-led interior ministry, police and medical sources said.

A third man, whose identity was not immediately released, was killed in another incident.

In Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, a Fatah supporter was killed and 35 other people wounded in clashes near the home of a Hamas leader.

Exchanges in the main southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Yunis left 23 people wounded, medics said.

In the Palestinian political capital of Ramallah, hundreds of protestors stormed the government compound and set fire to the headquarters of the Hamas-led government.

The offices of Hamas ministers and MPs were also torched. The blazes were extinguished by late evening.

In the northern West Bank, militants of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, an armed offshoot of Fatah, shot and wounded three Hamas militants in an exchange of fire in Balata refugee camp.

They also wounded the director of a school run by an Islamic charity and a teenager in a factory run by an Islamic institution, security sources said.

In the southern West Bank town of Hebron, Fatah supporters torched the local office of the Palestinian parliament.

The violence on the eve of a new Middle East tour by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice prompted warnings from pro-Western Arab governments that it risked torpedoing any new effort by Washington to relaunch the moribund peace process.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas ordered all security personnel to withdraw from the streets, whether under the command of the Hamas-led interior ministry or under his own command.

The ministry had deployed its own troops after police loyal to Abbas joined thousands of civil servants in a month-old strike in protest at the government's inability to pay their wages as a result of a Western aid freeze imposed after the Islamists took power.

"I order the withdrawal of the (interior ministry) force to its former positions and I call on the government and its head (prime minister Ismail Haniya) to take the necessary steps to contain the crisis," Abbas said in an evening address broadcast on Palestinian television.

"I repeat my orders to members of the security forces to return to their positions and end their protests," he said.

Abbas said the violence had crossed a "red line" and recalled that citizens had the right only to "express their views in ways which do not break the law."

"We will not allow these acts of violence to pass in silence and all those who participated by word or deed will be held to account," he said.

"I have ordered the prosecutor general to open an inquiry and to bring anyone implicated before the courts so that they can receive the appropriate punishment."

The Hamas prime minister issued an appeal for calm.

"I call for an end to provocations and for national unity to be protected," Haniya told reporters.

His office said he had also spoken with Abbas by telephone and stressed the "need for the government and the presidency to work together ... to halt these tensions and ensure respect for law and order."

It was the latest violence between Fatah and Hamas supporters in the territories, which have been gripped by a severe political and financial crisis since Hamas formed its government.

The two factions had been engaged in talks on forming a government of national unity acceptable to Western donors but the violence further overshadowed any hope of a breakthrough.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, a key Western ally who has mediated between the Palestinian factions in the past, said he believed the violence on the eve of Rice's tour, was "blocking the peace process," his spokesman Suleiman Awwad told reporters.

"How can we ask the international community and the great powers to take action to relaunch the peace process when they (the Palestinians) are utterly divided," Awwad quoted the president as saying in talks with King Abdullah II of Jordan.

Both leaders reiterated their "support for Palestinian Authority, its president Mahmud Abbas and efforts to form a Palestinian government of national unity," he added.

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