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Friday, January 26, 2007

Man killed, abductions resume in Gaza * Gaza death toll rises to ten with baby's death

Man killed, abductions resume in Gaza

Violent clashes between rival PA factions resume in Gaza; Hamas says Fatah sniper killed group member in Jabalia
Associated Press Published:  01.26.07, 15:24
Gunmen in the northern Gaza Strip shot dead a Hamas activist Friday after a night of tit-for- tat killings and kidnappings allegedly carried out by the Islamic militant group and its Fatah rivals. Gaza
Hamas, which blamed Fatah for the latest shooting, said a sniper firing from a house in the Jabalia refugee camp shot a Hamas man in a loudspeaker van who had been calling local residents to join a rally the group planned for later in the day.

Hamas gunmen later surrounded the house of the Fatah member from which the sniper shot came, calling on him to surrender, Hamas said. Fatah officials say the gunmen fired at the house and hurled grenades.

Shots were fired on Friday at the Gaza City home of Foreign Minister Mahmoud al-Zahar of Hamas, but he was not there at the time, an aide said. Gunmen also fired at the house Thursday night while al-Zahar was inside, but he was unharmed.

The latest factional violence erupted ahead of a new round of coalition government talks between Hamas and Fatah.

Fatah is led by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who hopes the talks will produce a government moderate enough to induce the West to lift crushing economic sanctions it imposed after Hamas took power in March.
Western powers hope the sanctions will pressure Hamas into disarming and recognizing Israel's right to exist, but so far, Hamas has resisted.

Earlier Friday, Hamas militants killed a wounded Fatah fighter in a gangland-style slaying, Fatah officials said.
'Avoid Palestinian bloodshed'
On Thursday night, attackers killed a Hamas activist in a bombing the group blamed on Fatah. Both those attacks were also in Jabalia.

Fatah said a Hamas force firing rockets launched a predawn attack on the home of Nabil Jarjir, a member of the Fatah-affiliated Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, initially wounding him. As neighbors were taking the injured man to hospital the Hamas raiders stopped the car and killed him with a shot to the head, Fatah said.

After that attack local Al-Aqsa official Samih Madhoun vowed revenge. "Those who executed Jarjir will be punished," he said.
On Thursday night a roadside bomb was detonated as a squad of Hamas militiamen drove by. One militant was killed in that attack and seven were wounded, Hamas and hospital officials said. Hamas blamed Fatah for the bombing.
Earlier, Hamas charged that a Fatah unit fired a rocket at a house belonging to a commander of the Hamas force in the nearby town of Beit Hanoun.

A Hamas official, on condition of anonymity, said that during the night Fatah gunmen kidnapped seven Hamas members, while Hamas seized four Fatah members believed to be behind the roadside bombing. Fatah said six of its men had been snatched.

Hamas was scheduled to hold rallies in northern Gaza later Friday to mark one year since it ousted Fatah from power in parliamentary elections and to protest the latest attacks on its men.

 Gaza death toll rises to ten with baby's death,7340,L-3357321,00.html
Nine gunmen from both sides also dead, with some 30 wounded, as result of infighting; Representatives from both sides sent to meet with Palestinian Interior Minister to attempt to end conflict
Ali Waked Latest Update:  01.26.07, 20:54

A two year old baby was killed in the cross-fire of Hamas and Fatah bullets near Khan Younis late Friday evening, bringing the death toll from Palestinian infighting to ten in less than 24 hours.  Some 30 people have been wounded as a result of the clashes, several of them severely.
Representatives from the two sides were sent to meet with the Palestinian Interior Minister Friday evening, in an attempt to bring an end to the bloodshed.  No progress has been reported. 
Also late Friday evening, a Hamas operative was killed in exchanges of fire in northern Gaza.  An hour prior, two Fatah members, belonging to the Preventative Security Forces, were killed near their headquarters in Gaza by Hamas gunmen.
Witnesses said the Fatah-affiliated security forces were seen moving armored vehicles closer to the home of a Fatah operative, which is currently a scene of heavy infighting with Hamas in northern Gaza.  The vehicles have not been used by the Palestinian Authority for several years.
 The witnesses further reported that Hamas' special security forces, who surrounded the home, were exchanging fire with Fatah forces in the area and had called for back-up.
Two Palestinians, one of them only 16 years old, were killed while participating in a protest near the home earlier on Friday. Fatah officials reported at the time that the gunmen fired at the house and hurled grenades.
Hamas operatives claimed that a sniper shot had been fired from the home, killing one of their own, on Friday afternoon.  A Hamas man in a loudspeaker van - who had been calling local residents to join a rally the group planned for later in the day - had indeed been shot in the area.
 In response to the attack on the Fatah-affiliated house, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades - Fatah's military wing - in the West Bank threatened to execute nine Hamas operatives, whom they kidnapped from a village near Nablus.

The captives had been participating in a training exercise for the Hamas government's special security force at the time.
On Thursday night, two Palestinians – one operative from Hamas and one from Fatah - were killed in ongoing exchanges of fire between the two groups. An additional Hamas security official, injured earlier during one such exchange in Beit Lahiya, died of his wounds Friday afternoon.
The Associated Press contributed to the report

First Published:  01.26.07, 17:24

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