Gaza Strip: At least 14 killed in Hamas-Fatah clashes
At least 14 Palestinians were killed on Tuesday -- eight in one incident as Hamas and Fatah gunmen clashed for the third day in the Gaza Strip.
Hamas gunmen on Tuesday attacked Fatah forces at the Gaza Strip - Israel border crossing, killing at least eight people and drawing gunfire from nearby Israeli soldiers, Palestinian officials and witnesses said.
According to the AP, eyewitnesses 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.
Presidential Guard spokesman Ahmed al-Kaisi said Hamas activists used mortars, rockets and rocket-propelled grenades in the attack. According to eyewitnesses, Hamas gunmen fired a missile at a jeep transporting Fatah security forces to the base to help. The jeep overturned and the gunmen shot and killed the seven men inside.
The Israeli army confirmed it had fired at a group of gunmen who approached the border, identifying a hit. Palestinian medical officials confirmed one person died. Hamas claimed Israel was responsible for all the deaths.
Earlier, a Hamas member was killed and five others were injured, despite deployment of the security forces and agreement on a ceasefire late on Monday. Palestinian media sources reported that a presidential guards force shot dead Tuesday morning a gunman linked to the Al-Qassam Brigades, the military arm of Hamas.
A statement by the Brigades accused the presidential guards of killing its member on a roadblock in Gaza city. “We will deal with the killing of our member the way we deal with the Israeli occupation’s spies”, said the statement.
In the West Bank, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called for the immediate implementation of a government security plan to halt the deadly clashes. "We must do that ... without any reluctance or delay, to put an end to civil strife and the ghost of internal fighting," he said in a speech marking "Naqba Day," or the anniversary of Israel's founding. The plan calls for rival security forces to operate under a joint command.
© 2007 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)