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Civil War in Gaza

19 killed in 24 hours, mortar shells at Abu Mazen's office, rocket at Hamas PM Haniye's home... The "violence" is now widely called "civil war."
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 6/12/2007, 12:16 PM

With 19 Arabs killed by Arabs between Monday and Tuesday at noon, mortar shells at Abu Mazen's office, and a rocket at Hamas PM Haniyeh's home, what has until now been known as "violence" is now widely being called, even in Gaza, all-out civil war.

The fighting in Gaza is now in its latest and most severe round since it broke out well over a year ago. On Tuesday morning, Fatah gunmen fired an RPG rocket at the home of the head of the Fatah-Hamas unity government, prime minister Ismail Haniye. Haniye, who was home at the time but was not hurt, lives in the Shati section of Gaza City.

The RPG attack followed the firing of four mortar shells by Hamas at the office of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen). No injuries were reported. Nearly 100 Arabs have been injured since Monday, and more than 80 have been killed in the current round of fighting.

The RPG attack against Haniye was far from the first time he has been targeted. Fatah men have shot at his house more than once over the past month, and last October, Haniyeh's convoy came under gunfire in Gaza and one of the cars was set on fire.

Tuesday at noon, exchanges of fire were reported at the hospital in Khan Yunis (near the site of what was N'vei Dekalim). Hamas men have taken up positions on the hospital's roof, and Fatah men are firing at them from an adjacent building.

The Hamas military faction has warned Fatah security personnel not to show up for work. "Every security force agent who comes to work will be suspected of taking part in the struggle against the Palestinian people and is liable to be hurt," Hamas warned. Fatah accuses Iran of encouraging Hamas in its attacks, particularly against innocent civilians for "shock value." Three women and a boy in a Fatah family were murdered in their Monday night.

The Egyptian mediator in Gaza said both Fatah and Hamas should be "ashamed of themselves" for having "killed the hope." He said both sides refused to come to peace talks today.

The civil war in Gaza has also included at least one case of armed terrorists throwing people out of their home and then blowing it up.

Related article: PA Militia War Continues Despite Truce