Yet another agreement between Palestinian terror groups has been followed by violence. Twelve people were killed on Tuesday as of about 10:30 AM local time. Dare the Palestinians risk more such "agreements?" Maan News, a Palestinian news service, has the story
New agreement between factions fails to end fierce clashes in Gaza; 12
Date: 15 / 05 / 2007 Time: 10:31
Gaza - Ma'an - After two days of brutal clashes on the streets of Gaza, the rival factions agreed to end the fighting. The new treaty included an agreement to deploy joint Palestinian security forces on the streets, but failed to end the fierce inter-factional clashes. Fresh fighting erupted on Tuesday in several areas of the Gaza Strip leaving behind several victims.
The death toll has now risen to at least eighteen people since Sunday.
Clashes at Karni Crossing
Nine members of the Palestinian national security forces were killed and 10 injured in clashes that erupted near the Mintar (Karni) crossing.
According to the director of ambulance and emergency department in the Palestinian ministry of health, Mu'awiya Hassanein, the victims were evacuated from the eastern border of Gaza City, near the Malka square and taken to the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir Al-Balah.
Since the morning hours, there have been violent clashes at the Karni crossing between armed gunmen affiliated to Hamas, and the presidential guards and the national security forces, which are affiliated to Fatah. Machine guns and different kinds of shells have been used.
There were contradictory stories about the death of the security forces' members. The leadership of the national security forces accused the Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, of "obstructing a car belonging to the Palestinian national security forces near the evacuated Israeli settlement of Netsarim, before forcing them out of the car and liquidating them on the spot by shooting them in their heads."
According to the statement, Adel Abu Amra, Ahmad Abu Ayyada, Hassan Tawaheen, Bassam Kawari' and Sayf Abu Rashid were identified amongst those killed.
'200 Palestinians risk massacre'
The spokesperson of the Palestinian presidential guards, Ali Al-Qaisi, said "members of Al-Qassam Brigades of Hamas and the executive force have been attacking the Karni (Mintar) crossing with machine guns and mortar shells and other homemade explosives since the morning."
He told Palestinian TV that there are several injured members of the Palestinian national security forces at the crossing. He also warned of a massacre similar to the one at the Quraysh station, south of Gaza City, where dozens of trainees were killed in the clashes which preceded the Mecca agreement.
Al-Qaisi also warned of the mortar shells hitting the natural gas stores inside the crossing and other flammable materials. He appealed to all Palestinian and nationalistic factions to intervene in order to rescue 200 Palestinians caught inside the crossing.
The spokesperson of the executive force, Islam Shahwan, denied that any of the executive force members participated in the attack at the Karni crossing. He expressed astonishment that the executive force is mentioned in association with the ongoing cycle of violence in Gaza.
Gunmen on the roofs
Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, said that one of their leaders, Ibrahim Maniyya, was killed by the presidential guards as he passed their military station in his car, east of Gaza City.
Al-Qassam Brigades said in a statement that they would deal with the perpetrators as "collaborators with the Israeli occupation."
Security sources stated that the checkpoints are still spread in most of the streets of Gaza City, while gunmen are stationed on the roofs of the buildings.
12 killed on Tuesday
The death toll of the bloody clashes in the Gaza Strip reached 12 on Tuesday after medical sources reported that a Palestinian had been killed in clashes in the area of the Ansar compound south of Gaza City. They said that the Ash-Shifa hospital received an unidentified dead body.
Earlier, another member of the Palestinian preventive security service was killed in armed clashes in Gaza City.
Palestinian medical sources reported that a member of the preventive security service, Yousif Muteir, was killed and 2 others were injured in clashes that erupted near the headquarters of the preventive security in the Tel Al-Hawa neighbourhood, south of Gaza City.
According to the medical sources, the injuries of the others are moderate.
Earlier, two delegations representing Hamas and Fatah met with the Palestinian prime minister and agreed to withdraw the gunmen from the streets and exchange abductees.
Unidentified gunmen abducted a lecturer from the Islamic university, Muhammad Radwan, and took him to an unknown destination.
Palestinian minister of information, Mustafa Barghouthi, also formal spokesperson of the unity government, said on Monday evening that the meeting between President Abbas and government ministers in Ramallah reached an agreement to support the government's decisions and implement them.
During the meeting, President Abbas telephoned convenors in Gaza City, Prime Minister Haniyeh and representatives of Hamas and Fatah. In both meetings, it was decided to withdraw the factional gunmen and the security forces from the streets and establish a joint operation room, including all security services, to start implementing the security plan.
Barghouthi affirmed that President Abbas confirmed his support "both spiritually and materially" to Prime Minister Haniyeh and his government, and he gave orders to all security services to be under Haniyeh's command through a joint operation room.