On Wednesday, three officers from the Fatah-affiliated Palestinian Preventive Security Service (PPSS) and an additional Fatah loyalist were killed in clashes with Hamas terrorists. Fatah members were called to "be prepared and defend themselves by any means in the face of attack."
Fatah, the terrorist organization led by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) has accused the Hamas gang, headed by PA Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, of instigating the violence.
On Thursday, during the funerals of some of the Fatah men killed the day before, six people were wounded by gunfire. Fatah blamed Hamas gunmen for the shootings, and say they will not take part in talks for a truce with Hamas. A member of the special Hamas security force was later killed in a clash in northern Gaza.
Fatah also blamed Hamas for the wave of kidnappings that plagued Gaza on Tuesday, when 23 people were abducted by both organizations. Several of them were later released, including a Hamas man abducted in Ramallah who was freed Thursday morning.
A woman who was uninvolved in Wednesday's fighting was also killed after she was caught in the crossfire between Hamas and Fatah gunmen in Jabalya, just north of Gaza City.
The clash in Jabalya broke out when three young nephews of one of Fatah’s Preventive Security Service officers was grabbed by gunmen in northern Gaza. Fatah terrorists in the Jabalya area then shot two Hamas fighters in retaliation for the abduction.
Two Fatah officers were also shot to death by Hamas gunmen in an ambush in northern Gaza, according to Fatah sources.
An assassination attempt by Hamas militants on the life of a senior terrorist in the Fatah-linked al-Aksa Martyrs’ Brigades terror group ended in failure. The gunmen fired a rocket-propelled grenade at Hassan al-Qasa and another senior al-Aksa terrorist.
The ceasefire negotiated between Hamas and Fatah in early December lasted less than a month, as the two groups continued their year-long bloody struggle for control of the PA government.