Explosions hit Fatah officials in Gaza Strip

Series of co-ordinated blasts target homes of leaders of President Mahmud Abbas’ Fatah party in Hamas-ruled territory.

No one was hurt in the near-simultaneous attacks on three Fatah leaders' homes [Reuters]

A series of co-ordinated explosions have targeted the homes of several leaders of President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah Party in the Gaza Strip, a party official has said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the explosions early on Friday occurred at a time of rising tensions with the rival Hamas movement.

Fayez Abu Eitta, a Fatah leader in Gaza’s Jebaliya refugee camp, said no one was hurt in the near-simultaneous attacks. He said his car was destroyed and the homes and cars of two other Fatah officials in Gaza City were also damaged.

Hamas gained control of Gaza from Fatah after winning the 2007 elections. The rival parties have recently pledged to reconcile, but there are still deep differences.

Fatah officials in Gaza are planning on commemorating the death of party founder Yasser Arafat on November 11 for the first time since 2007.

During the previous commemoration, which took place shortly after Hamas took the reins of the Strip, at least 10 people were killed in clashes between the rival sides, and Hamas activists have spoken out against this year’s event.

A prominent Fatah blog said the stage for the ceremony was also hit by a blast, though the report could not be immediately confirmed.

Abu Eitta refused to speculate on who was behind the blasts, saying the incident was under investigation.

Source: AP