Hamas Victory Rally Erupts Into Shootout (AP) JERUSALEM, ISRAEL 01/29/05 3:39 PM)
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JERUSALEM - A political rally by the militant Palestinian group Hamas
turned violent Saturday, as supporters of the rival Fatah faction
opened fire, sparking a melee that left more than 25 people wounded,
a Palestinian official said.
The incident in the Maghazi refugee camp in central Gaza was the
first instance of violence between rival Palestinian factions since
the election of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in early January.
Abbas has been holding talks with rival political factions, including
Hamas, in hopes of reaching a truce agreement between militants and
The shooting occurred at an outdoor rally staged by Hamas to
celebrate its victory in municipal elections in Gaza earlier in the
week. Hamas´ strong showing dealt a setback to Abbas´ dominant Fatah
The Palestinian official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said
the Hamas supporters chanted victory slogans, angering Fatah
supporters in the area.
One of the Fatah supporters opened fire, seriously wounding one Hamas
supporters and causing shrapnel wounds to four others, the official
said. Some 25 other people were hurt by knives, clubs and beatings in
the ensuing melee, the official said.
No further details were immediately available.
While rival Palestinian factions have sporadically fought one
another, such instances of fighting are rare, with the various groups
all saying they are committed to ending Israel´s occupation of the
West Bank and Gaza Strip. (Copyright 2005 Associated Press. 01/29/05)
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