Hamas continued its campaign of destroying Fatah in Gaza and killings its leading officials Wednesday.
Hamas terrorists fired mortar shells and rockets at the three remaining Fatah compounds in Gaza City – those of the PA’s Preventive Security Service, Intelligence Service and the Presidential Guard, as well as Fatah chief and Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s main compound. By 11 AM Thursday, Hamas said it was in control of the Preventative Security compound and would be holding Friday's Islamic prayers in Abbas's former office.
Hamas and Fatah men took control of various rooftops throughout the city Wednesday and fired at groups of rival terrorists. The city’s mosque loudspeakers broadcast calls by Hamas for Fatah to surrender and hand in their weapons.
A Fatah headquarters in Khan Younis was blown up by a one-ton bomb inserted beneath it via a tunnel. Fatah men who fled the building handed over their arms and even their clothes to Hamas terrorists outside before being allowed to escape. Another large bomb was discovered by Fatah forces buried beneath the road used by Abbas when he travels to Gaza; he is currently in Ramallah.
In Rafiah as well, Hamas blew up the Fatah headquarters and declared it had taken over the town. Fatah was beaten so badly that Egyptian reports said 40 PA officers broke through the Gaza-Egypt border fence and fled to Sinai for safety. The Hamas-affiliated Popular Resistance Committee announced Thursday that it had taken control of the border to prevent weapons smuggling (to Fatah) and mass emigration by local Gazans.
Fatah blew up several of its own bases in central Gaza early Thursday in a bid to prevent them from falling into Hamas’s hands.
Hundreds of Fatah terrorists were seen surrendering to Hamas in Gaza Wednesday ahead of an ultimatum set by Hamas that ends Friday night. Hundreds of members of a mercenary local clan fighting for Fatah surrendered, ending a pitched two-day battle. The Bakr clan members were led to a local mosque. Hamas blew up one of the clan’s homes and women were shot dead when they tried to transport a sick girl to the hospital, according to PA reports.
During a protest by hundreds of Gazans against infighting and for uniting to fight Israel, a man was killed when Hamas terrorists opened fire on the protesters. The protest, billed as “peaceful,” was organized by Egyptian intelligence and attended by armed Islamic Jihad terrorists.
Abbas’s office hinted that he would announce an “important decision” Thursday – presumably that the mostly-cosmetic Fatah-Hamas unity government has ceased to exist.
Nearly 80 people have been killed in the most recent wave of Fatah-Hamas clashes.
For the second night in a row, Abbas and Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh issued a plea to their respective groups to stop the fighting. They were both ignored and according to PA reports, clashes actually intensified following the call.