The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, Fatah’s armed wing, threatened to kill
Hamas officials for the first time since the fighting broke out between
the two Palestinian political parties. The group handed out leaflets Tuesday morning saying they would kill
Khalid Mishaal, the Syrian-based Hamas political chief, Said Siyam, the
Palestinian interior minister and Yusuf al-Zahar, head of Hamas’
No one knows whether the statements represent the entire group of Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades or particular factions.
Hamas and its supporters believe that Fatah and its Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades plan to overthrow the Hamas-run government, the recent attacks constituting the start of this plan. Hamas legislator, Mushir Al Masri, called Al Aqsa “leaders of the internal coup.”
Amidst the internal fighting between Fatah and Hamas that has killed twelve and wounded over 120 since Sunday, Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh urged his supporters to stop the fighting.
"We reiterate to our people to be responsible, not to spread the circle of disagreements and conflict, and not to transfer events to other parts of the nation," Haniyeh said.
The disagreements Haniyeh refers to have not only degenerated into open conflict, but have degenerated into outright lies about the course of events as they actually happened.
Immediately following Haniyeh’s statement, a gunfight broke out in a Fatah stronghold in Gaza Tuesday where two people were killed and nine were severely injured. Fatah officials said Hamas gunmen opened fire on Fatah supporters as they drove near a roadblock while Hamas said its fighters came under fire from the car and fought back.
Also Tuesday, Fatah gunmen forced the closure of schools located in central Gaza without any stated reason. Gunmen also blocked a major intersection in central Gaza with burning tires and garbage dumpsters, yelling, "Down, down with Hamas.”
According to Nabil Amar, a senior advisor to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the president may issue a referendum on early elections and establish an emergency government to take over while elections take place.
Meanwhile, Haniyeh and Abbas are still trying to form a national unity government, Salal Al Bardawil, a Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip, said. The main setback lies in their completely opposing views concerning the foundation of the unity government. For Hamas, a unity government based on the prisoners’ document issued by jailed Fatah and Hamas leaders in May this year is something to work with, while Abbas is fully in line with U.S. demands that Hamas recognize Israel’s right to exist, renounce armed resistance and recognize past peace agreements in order to even participate in a unity government.
Sourced from Al-Jazeera and Haaretz