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Fatah claims Hamas ambush on camp
by Al Jazeera (reposted)
Tuesday May 15th, 2007 8:51 AM
At least 10 members of the Presidential Guard, the force loyal to the Palestinian president, have been killed in an attack by Hamas fighters near Gaza's Karni crossing with Israel.
Al Jazeera's correspondent said Hamas men were accused of attacking the guards' training base near the crossing in a fifth day of factional fighting on Tuesday.

The fighting, on top of the resignation of Hani al-Qawasmi, the interior minister, is the first major crisis facing the unity government set up between Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah movement and Hamas.

One Palestinian man was also killed by Israeli soldiers in response to the fighting.

Colonel Ali Qayssi, of Fatah, said that dozens of members of a Hamas paramilitary force and the faction's military wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, fired grenades and anti-tank fire on the camp of 200 guardsmen.

A spokesman for the Hamas paramilitary, the Executive Force, which is controlled by the interior ministry, denied its members were involved.

Major blow

Earlier on Tuesday, a fighter from the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades was shot dead and another Hamas supporter wounded in Gaza City, medics and witnesses said.

Ibrahim Mounia was killed in eastern Gaza City overnight when unknown armed men ambushed a minibus carrying men from the brigade, sources said.

by UK Guardian (reposted)
Tuesday May 15th, 2007 9:18 AM
At least 11 Palestinians were killed as fighting between Hamas and Fatah reached new levels of ferocity today, threatening to shatter the two factions' unity government.

A Fatah spokesman said Hamas gunmen killed eight members of Mahmoud Abbas's presidential guard in an attack near the Karni crossing - Gaza's main commercial entry point into Israel - in the deadliest attack.

The Fatah men had been on their way to help colleagues at a training base who were under assault by Hamas when Israeli forces across the border opened fire, Tawfiq Abu Khoussa said.

"Some of the vehicles overturned and some of the men were wounded," he told Reuters. "The forces retreated, but they were ambushed by Hamas gunmen, who finished them off."

The armed wing of Hamas denied the claims, blaming the deaths on Israel and accusing Fatah of killing one of its commanders earlier.

Israel has said little during the latest round of Palestinian infighting, which is now in its third day despite an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire on Sunday.

by UK Independent (reposted)
Tuesday May 15th, 2007 9:19 AM

Hamas gunmen attacked rival Fatah forces at a key Gaza-Israel border crossing today, killing at least five people and drawing gunfire from nearby Israeli troops, Palestinian officials and witnesses said.

The attack was the deadliest single incident in three days of factional fighting. Witnesses saw at least five bodies from the pro-Fatah Presidential Guard brought into a hospital morgue. The guard is responsible for guarding the Karni border crossing under an agreement with Israel.

The incident also threatened to draw Israel into the latest wave of Palestinian infighting.

The army confirmed it had fired at a group of gunmen who approached the border, identifying a hit. Palestinian medical officials confirmed one person was killed.
by BBC (reposted)
Tuesday May 15th, 2007 9:29 AM
About 500 Fatah loyalists have returned to Gaza from police training in Egypt as factional fighting escalates with Fatah's main Palestinian rival, Hamas.

Ten people have died in the latest violence, including eight in an attack on a Fatah security base - the worst incident in three days of bloodshed.

A Fatah official denied the returning force would fight Hamas, saying it would give Palestinians security.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has urged an end to the fighting.

But BBC Jerusalem correspondent Katya Adler says the latest events in Gaza appear to be a significant escalation in the factional fighting, pushing the area closer to all-out civil conflict.


The Fatah official, Tawfiq Abu Khoussa, said of the returning men: "The role of the security forces is to protect the security of the Palestinian people and not to take part in internal fighting."