Gunmen ordered off Gaza streets

Funeral held for Fatah commander after Haniya and Abbas reach a deal.

    A Palestine TV presenter speaks to a Fatah commander moments before he was killed
    Despite the deal tensions remained high in the Gaza Strip and the bloodshed continued.

    Religious leader shot

    A Muslim religious leader was killed in a drive-by shooting on Friday as he walked out of a Gaza City mosque, witnesses and medical officials said.

    There was no claim of responsibility for the murder of Adel Nasar, who was not openly affiliated with any political party but had apparently criticised the factional fighting in his Friday sermon.

    A Fatah security forces commander and six of
    his men were killed on Thursday [AFP]

    Earlier on Friday, a funeral procession was held for Fatah members killed during an attack on the home on a commander in the Preventive Security Service.

    Armed men besieged the home of Colonel Mohammed Ghareeb in the northern Gaza town of Beit Lahiya blaming him for killing of a policeman  loyal to Hamas.

    Ghareeb made a desperate telephone call to Palestine TV as the men broke into his house.

    "We urge you to stop them they they are criminals, they are killers," he said before a gunshot was heard and the line went dead.

    Ghareeb was killed along with six of his men.

    Calls for revenge

    As the procession passed his home on Friday a masked man fired shots into the air and called for revenge for the Fatah commander's death.

    "The hand which fired against him and his comrades will be cut off," he shouted.

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    Fatah has blamed the special security service of Said Siyam, the Hamas interior minister, for Thursday's attack and said there would be no further attempts at reconciliation between the movements until the killers were brought to justice.

    "There will be no dialogue in the shadow of killing and terrorism practiced by Hamas," a Fatah statement said. "Said Siyam is responsible for the execution and the cold-blooded murder to which our martyrs in Beit Lahiya were subjected."
    Abbas challenged Hamas by calling in December for early parliamentary and presidential elections after talks on forming a unity government failed.
    Haniya said he and Abbas agreed to "withdraw all gunmen from the streets and deploy police forces to keep law and order".
    Abbas made no public comment after the session, but a diplomat who attended the talks and declined to be identified confirmed an agreement had been reached.
    In the West Bank, thousands of Palestinians gathered to mark the 42nd anniversary of the founding of Fatah.

    Israeli troops used tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowds who had gathered near the West Bank separation barrier to demonstrate against its construction.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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