Palestinian factions brawl in Gaza ‘mourning tent’

Hamas and Fatah members clashed at a funeral-related gathering in Gaza, with tensions between the two embattled factions boiling over.

By: Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

A mourning tent became the latest scene of internal Palestinian strife on Saturday, which ended with the temporary structure being torn down.

The family of 15-year-old Mohammed Ayoub, who was one of four Palestinians killed in the latest round of violent rioting on the Gazan-Israeli border, was receiving condolence callers in Gaza City when a fracas broke out between Hamas and Fatah members who came to pay their respects.

Hamas security forces then attacked the Fatah members present, injuring a senior operative, reported Times of Israel. The source who provided the info added that the Hamas men then dismantled the tent and ordered everyone to leave.

Although the subject of the verbal altercation is not known at this time, Hamas has accused Fatah of trying to “score political points” with the teen’s death by attempting to get his parents to show support for Palestinian Authority President Abbas. In reaction to Saturday’s events, a Fatah spokesman condemned the Hamas “assault,” calling it “irresponsible.”

Meanwhile, 109 out of 700 representatives to the Palestine National Council (PNC) – including members of both Hamas and Fatah – sent a letter Sunday to their speaker, Saleem al-Zanoun, asking him to delay next week’s session because they said that too few delegates would be allowed to attend by Israel.

The rare meeting of the PA’s top decision-making body (the last time they had a regular session was 1996) was supposed to discuss the American recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, which all Palestinians vociferously oppose. However, the legislators said that if too few factions could attend, it would cause “danger” to the Palestinian cause, according to the letter, which was obtained by Reuters.

They also said that it was important for the unity deal between Hamas and Fatah to be completed before the PNC met again. The reconciliation agreement was signed in October but has not been implemented over the controversy regarding who should be in charge of Gaza.

PNC Secretary Mohammad Sbeih told Reuters that the April 30th session in Ramallah will not be postponed.