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Eleven die as Gaza factions clash
by BBC (reposted)
Friday Jan 26th, 2007 6:10 PM
At least 11 people have died in some of the deadliest fighting between rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah in Gaza for months.
Two civilians - one a two-year-old boy - were among those killed, Palestinian medics said.

The clashes erupted after weeks of relative calm and renewed efforts to form a national unity government.

Fatah said it was suspending the negotiations following the violence, which has continued into the night.

Both factions also kidnapped members of the opposing side during the day.

More than 40 people have died as a result of a power struggle between supporters of the Hamas-led government and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction since mid-December.

Echo of gunfire

The BBC's Alan Johnston in Gaza says there has been intensive mediation by Egyptian diplomats in an effort to stop the bloodshed there.

He says late in the evening word came that Fatah and Hamas had agreed to order their supporters off the streets.

by Al Jazeera (reposted)
Friday Jan 26th, 2007 6:23 PM
Fatah has reportedly postponed unity government talks with rival Hamas after at least 12 people were killed and 24 others abducted in factional violence across the Palestinian Territories.

The clashes on Friday overshadowed celebrations to mark the first anniversary of Hamas's election victory.

They also came after Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, said a deal could be done in weeks.

"The entire dialogue could explode," Tawfiq Abu Khoussa, the Fatah spokesman, said as he blamed Hamas for the violence.

"How can dialogue go on when there is a bomb underneath the table?"

The talks, which had been due to resume on Friday, will now be held on Sunday at the earliest.

by Al Jazeera (reposted)
Saturday Jan 27th, 2007 10:03 AM
On January 26, 2006, Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president and leader of Fatah, told a press conference at the World Economic Forum in Davos that talks with Hamas, the ruling party, on the formation of a national unity government ought to conclude within three weeks.

He reiterated his call for presidential and parliamentary elections if the talks failed.

Hamas has refused to endorse another election. It suspended unity government talks on the same day as Abbas's address in Davos after more than a dozen people were killed in Palestinian factional fighting.

Since mid-December, more than 40 Palestinians have been killed and scores injured in what has been described as a power struggle between supporters of Hamas and those of Fatah. The fighting has also encompassed clan feuds and vigilante groups.

Laila El-Haddad spoke to four of those involved in the fighting, asking why they had participated and what they thought the future may hold.


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