Gaza Strip: At least nine dead as Hamas takes control on major areas
Palestinians continued to battle across the Gaza Strip Wednesday and at least nine more were killed, raising the death toll to more than 50 in four days, hospital officials said.
Gunmen from Hamas movement attacked positions controlled by security forces loyal to Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, of Fatah throughout central Gaza Strip, killing one fighter and injuring at least 10, hospital officials said. Hamas also took control of the refugee camps in the central Gaza Strip, after it swept into the headquarters of Abbas' powerful National Security Forces facing only token resistance.
At least five civilians were wounded, two of whom are in serious condition.
In one clash alone, four Fatah men died. A Fatah member was also died after Hamas gunmen fought with Fatah security officers in Gaza City, Reuters reported. Hamas said Fatah man fired a rocket-propelled grenade against the house of its deputy minister of information, setting the house ablaze but causing no injuries.
Meanwhile, Palestinian Foreign Minister Ziad Abu Amr on Wednesday blamed the deadly clashes on pressures imposed by outside forces. "If you have two brothers, put them in a cage and deprive them of basic and essential needs for life, they will fight," Abu Amr told a news conference in Tokyo. "I don't think we should put the blame on the victim."