The Hamas-led Palestinian government and the Fateh movement, headed by the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, have pledged on Sunday to work in order to end the tensions between them after their supporters clashed in the streets of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

Mahmoud Mojahed, Fateh spokesperson, reported that the two factions have agreed to call on their supporters to end all forms of tension and to strengthen the nation unity.

Leaders of the two movements started their talks on Saturday night after armed clashes erupted between student supporters of Hamas and Fateh at the Gaza Islamic and Al-Azhar universities.

Forty students and activists of the two movements were injured in the clashes that included stone and furniture throwing, burning offices, and marches by armed members of Fateh.

The violent clashes broke out after the head of Hamas political office in Syria, Khaled Mashal,  attacked the Palestinian leadership, and after an announcement made by Sai’d Syam, the P.A Interior Minister, stating that he intends to set up a new security force that would include the armed wing of Hamas.

In Nablus city, north of the West Bank, gunmen of the Al Aqsa brigades, the military wing of Fateh stormed a courthouse and fired rounds of live ammunition into the air after forcing the employees out.

The gunmen demanded Mashal to apologize for his remarks.

Syam’s decision to form a new security force was revoked by the Palestinian President. Abbas also convened with the PLO executive committee in Ramallah and condemned the formation of the new force.

Mashal said on Friday that his comments were understood as veiled attacks on Abbas himself.

During a Friday rally in Al Yarmouk refugee camp, in southern Damascus marking the two-year anniversary of the assassination of the wheelchair bound Hamas spiritual leader, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, Mashal said that senior Fateh officials were "conspiring" to remove Hamas from the government, and that there was a "plot" to overthrow it.

Also, Mashal slammed Abbas’ condemnation to the Tel Aviv suicide bombing and described it as “ contemptible” .  

"Very soon we will uncover the true face of these criminals who are sacrificing the national interest for their personal interests”, Mashal added, “The criminals have left the coffers empty and have even stolen the furniture from the ministries before they transferred them to us."

Senior Fateh officials and members called for Mashal to publicly apologize, and protested against Hamas while calling to bring down its government.

In an attempt to calm things down, Nasser Al Deen Al Sha’er, the deputy of the Palestinian Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyya, said on Saturday, that the statements of Mashal “do not necessarily represent the official  position of the Hamas and its government”. 

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