Mideast: Fatah says Hamas "killed" members during conflict

Gaza, 19 Jan. (AKI) - The largest Palestinian party, Fatah, on Monday claimed that the rival Islamist faction Hamas attacked its members during military conflict in the Gaza Strip in the past three weeks.

Fatah said 16 people died and another 80 were injured in attacks by Hamas which is the ruling party in Gaza.

According to the Palestinian news agency, Maan, Fatah sent a call to “Hamas and its members” asking that they cease attacks on Fatah affiliates following the end of hostilities in Gaza at the weekend.

Throughout the war Maan said there were unconfirmed reports of harassment and executions of Fatah party members, suspected collaborators and “petty criminals” that were released via several media sources.

Maan said it was still unclear to what extent interparty rivalry was persisting in Gaza, since both Fatah and Hamas aligned brigades participated in Gaza clashes during Israel's offensive which killed at least 1,300 Palestinians since it began on 27 December.

A statement from Fatah spokesperson Fahmy Az-Za’reer, on Monday said that Fatah had evidence that Hamas forces had placed hundreds under house arrest and incapacitated more than 80 Fatah members by shooting them in the leg.

He said that there were 16 incidents where Hamas fighters executed Fatah members during the Gaza fighting.

Az-Za’reer asked Hamas members and their affiliates to take the ceasefire with Israel as an opportunity to “heal the wounds and reinforce unity and concord.”

Fatah troops were “patient, steady, united and cooperative in the battle field,” he said and noted that “we learnt from the revolution’s history that blame is no good during battle.”

He added that Fatah will not “allow or agree under any circumstances” for their affiliates to be attacked now that calm is again in place in Gaza.

“Hamas should understand our message,” he said. “It should ask itself how it can stalk our members with its weapons and military while the occupation is still in the heart of the Gaza Strip.”

Meanwhile, the al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas said it had lost 48 of its militants during the Israeli military attacks in the past three weeks.

Abu Obeida, spokesman for Hamas' armed wing, told Arab network Al-Jazeera the group had been subjected to 2,500 raids and used half the air and naval arsenal used by US troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

He said there were 3,300 martyrs, most of them women and children.


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