Hamas gunmen opened fire on Friday on forces of the rival Fatah, injuring at least six people throughout the Gaza Strip, in another setback to a new security plan aimed at halting the wave of violence plaguing the chaotic coastal area.
With 10 Palestinians wounded over a two-day period, it was the worst factional fighting since the formation of the Hamas-Fatah unity government nearly two months ago.
Despite the growing tensions, it is unlikely the coalition would break apart soon, since neither party can govern alone or is eager to go to elections.
Later on Friday, six members of Hamas' militia were wounded in a family feud that appeared unrelated to its rivalry with Fatah, Palestinian security officials said.
The factional tensions flared again on Thursday, after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas ordered the deployment of about 3,000 police in Gaza City. The troops took up positions at main intersections and government buildings.
Hamas was upset that Abbas, the Fatah leader, has not coordinated the new deployment with them. On Friday, Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh canceled a scheduled meeting with senior security commanders, in an apparent show of displeasure.
Despite the renewed tensions, Abbas was to leave Gaza for the West Bank on Saturday.
After many months of clashes between the sides some Gazans are skeptical that the new police deployment would stem the unrest.
"They look good. But can they do anything? I doubt that very much," Badar Salim, 45, a Gaza City merchant said. "I hope this is something real, not just a show for the media."
The plan includes a joint operations room to be staffed by members of various security forces as well a joint security unit, said Ghazi Hamad, Haniyeh's spokesman. Hamad also said security commanders would hold meetings with leaders of Gaza's political parties and militant groups to maintain calm.
"Lawlessness and chaos have become very dangerous in Gaza, and all the participants are determined to end the chaos and restore security," he said.
Friday's clashes began before dawn, when a minibus filled with Hamas gunmen opened fire at a Fatah security force manning a new roadblock. Palestinian medical officials said at least four people were wounded in this exchange.
FEELING THREATENED: The first military commission under Kim Jong-un’s leadership to last longer than a day is a sign of a growing escalatory doctrine, an analyst said North Korea discussed assigning additional duties to its frontline army units at a key military meeting, state media said yesterday, suggesting that the country might deploy battlefield nuclear weapons targeting South Korea along the rivals’ tense border. The discussion comes as South Korean officials said North Korea has finished preparations for its first nuclear test in five years, as part of possible efforts to build a warhead to be mounted on short-range weapons capable of hitting targets in South Korea. During an ongoing meeting of the Central Military Commission of the ruling Workers’ Party on Wednesday, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and
China’s online shopping stars enjoy huge influence, but can fall foul of the authorities and vanish from the retail multiverse. Hua Shao (華少) stands knee-deep in water at the edge of the sea, behind a table piled high with large crabs. The famous TV host is sweaty, sunburnt and laughing with a cohost, a red-and-blue fishing boat bobbing behind them. “The sea-ears taste so good, it must have been collected from a sea area where the water is very clear,” he tells more than 100,000 people watching online. It is the eve of “618,” one of China’s biggest retail festivals, which are increasingly
China’s COVID-19 outbreak is shifting to its south coast, with a flareup in Shenzhen triggering mass testing and a lockdown of some neighborhoods, while Macau — an hour’s drive away — is racing to stop its first outbreak in eight months. The new cases come as China’s two most important cities, Beijing and Shanghai, look to be subduing the virus after months of strict curbs and repeated testing. Shanghai yesterday reported nine local cases, while Beijing reported five. Nationwide, China yesterday reported 34 new COVID-19 infections. Yet new clusters continue to emerge, prompting action from local officials. Borders are increasingly under pressure, with
New Zealand stargazers were left puzzled and awed by strange, spiraling light formations in the night sky on Sunday night. At about 7:25pm, Alasdair Burns, a stargazing guide on Stewart Island, also called Rakiura, received a text from a friend saying to go outside and look at the sky. He went out and saw a huge, blue spiral of light amid the darkness. “It looked like an enormous spiral galaxy, just hanging there in the sky,” Burns said. “Quite an eerie feeling.” “We quickly banged on the doors of all our neighbors to get them out as well. And so there were