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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Two killed in clashes between Hamas, Fatah-linked Gaza clan

As usual, it is hard to say if it is a clan war or a Hamas-Fatah war, or just letting off steam.
Ami Isseroff
Last update - 15:47 20/10/2007    
By Avi Issacharoff, Haaretz Correspondent, and The Associated Press
Two Palestinians were killed Saturday, including a 13-year-old boy, in clashes between Hamas and a Gaza clan allied with the rival Fatah movement, medical officials said.
The 13-year-old, Mohammed Susi, was shot in the head during the gun battles in a Gaza City neighborhood, medical sources said. Up to 20 people were wounded.
Medical staff said the second Palestinian killed was a member of the clan.  

The deaths brought to six the number of people killed in recent days in the fighting between the ruling Hamas and the Khiles clan, defeated during Hamas' takeover of Gaza in June.
Hamas officials said the fighting erupted when clan members fired at a vehicle carrying Hamas fighters who passed nearby.
Residents said the Hilles clan's Shijaiyeh neighborhood in Gaza City turned into a ghost town. Hamas smipers took over rooftops, while clan members blocked roads with rocks and mounds of sand.
Both sides also fired mortar shells and rocket-propelled grenades. Electricity was cut in parts of the neighborhood and phone lines were also down.
The clan members have refused to surrender to Hamas security forces up to five of their number who were involved in fighting on Thursday, despite committing to do so.
Local residents said sporadic fighting was continuing in the area between the factions.
The clashes were a sign of ongoing internal tensions, despite Hamas' assertions that it is in full control of Gaza.
The tension between the clan and Hamas erupted earlier this week, when a Khiles member attacked a Hamas policeman and Hamas responded by surrounding the Khiles family complex in Gaza City.
Despite efforts by clan leader Abu Maher to convince Hamas to resolve the dispute without bloodshed, Hamas forces stormed the compound Thursday.
Two Hamas Executive Force members and two civilians were killed in the clashes. 14 Hamas men wee wounded, along with 12 Khiles clan members.

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