Fatah blames Hamas for Gaza bombings
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement blamed Islamist movement Hamas for series of bomb attacks against the homes of Fatah leaders in the Gaza Strip overnight.
“The Fatah central committee condemns the crimes which took place this morning against its leaders and lays the responsibility for these crimes upon Hamas,” senior Fatah official Nasser al-Qidwa told a news conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
At least 10 explosions hit houses and cars belonging to senior Fatah members but no casualties were reported.
Hussein al-Sheikh, another member of the Fatah leadership, said he had “no doubt of the fact that Hamas bears the responsibility for what happened to Fatah leaders in Gaza.”
Hamas ousted Abbas loyalists from Gaza in 2007 and rival administrations ruled in the West Bank and Gaza.
But earlier this year, Hamas and Fatah struck a reconciliation agreement leading to the formation of a government of national unity.
Hamas was quick to condemn Friday’s pre-dawn attacks but Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad, in charge of his party’s reconciliation team, said that “does not absolve Hamas from bearing full responsibility.”
“Before last night there were signals and declarations by Hamas against Fatah and Mahmud Abbas, of which the most significant was that of a group of Hamas military officials who said they were going to torpedo planned commemorations of the death of President Yasser Arafat,” he said.
Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and other ministers in the Palestinian unity government cancelled a planned visit to the coastal enclave following the attacks, which also targeted a platform set up by the Fatah movement to commemorate the death of Yasser Arafat.
It is the first time in years that a public commemoration of the iconic Palestinian leader and Fatah founder’s death has been planned in Gaza.
The deputy head of the Hamas politburo Moussa Abu Marzouq, meanwhile, condemned the attack, urging political factions to cautious in assigning blame, the Palestinian Maan news agency reported.
“An urgent meeting between Palestinian factions should be conducted to condemn the attack and to unite behind and support Fatah,” Abu Marzouq said.