Fatah terrorists in the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by Hamas, held a demonstration in support of Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas and the legitimacy of his regime.

Atef Abu Saif, spokesman for the Fatah movement, said that the demonstrations were also intended to express opposition to Israel's policies and to the "plots" aimed at eliminating the Palestinian issue, a reference to the US peace initiative which has come to be known as the “Deal of the Century”.

Abu Saif condemned the Hamas movement for the forcible suppression of the demonstrators in the Jabalya refugee camp in Gaza and for the arrest of Fatah activists.

The official PA news agency Wafa reported that Hamas activists attacked the participants in the demonstration organized by Fatah with batons and arrested several of them.

Hamas and Fatah have been embroiled in a bitter rivalry since 2007, when Hamas violently took over Gaza from Fatah in a bloody coup.

The two organizations signed a reconciliation deal in October of 2017, under which the PA was to have resumed full control of Gaza by December of that year.

That deadline, however, was initially put back by 10 days and had later reportedly hit “obstacles”. It has never been implemented and is one of many attempts that have failed over the years to ease the tensions between the two groups.

The rivalry between the groups has intensified in the past year because of the punitive measures taken by the Palestinian Authority against Gaza.

In December of 2018, Hamas arrested dozens of Fatah members. After PA security forces broke up a Hamas protest in Hevron and used batons against both male and female demonstrators.