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Hamas blamed as string of blasts hit Fatah targets in Gaza

© Mohammed Abed, AFP | Fatah member Fayez Abu Eitta (pictured left) talks on the phone as he inspects his damaged car on November 7

Video by Inès OLHAGARAY , Oliver FARRY

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-11-07

President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement has blamed Islamist group Hamas for a series of small explosions targeting the homes and vehicles of its officials Friday that caused minor damage but no injuries.

"The Fatah central committee condemns the crimes which took place this morning against its leaders and lays the responsiblity for these crimes upon Hamas," senior Fatah official Nasser al-Qidwa told a news conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Hamas had earlier condemned the explosions as a "criminal" act and ordered those who carried them out to be brought to justice.

The explosions came days ahead of the 10th anniversary of the death of former Palestinian president and Fatah leader Yasser Arafat, a memorial that has led to tensions between Fatah and Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip.

Senior Fatah official Abdallah Abu Samhadana said the Nov. 11 commemoration would go ahead despite the explosions, one of which targeted the wooden stage where the event is to be held.

“No one will deter us from holding the event, regardless of what explosions and terror they commit,” Samhadana said in a statement carried on the official Palestinian news agency, WAFA.

A letter left at the scene of one of the blasts was signed by the Islamic State group, but Fatah sources said they doubted the letter was authentic, and more likely an attempt by attackers to spread fear and cover their tracks.

Hamas and Fatah agreed in April to form a “reconciliation” government, an effort to overcome deep political rifts that date back to 2007, when Hamas seized power in Gaza after a weeks-long civil war with Fatah.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)

Date created : 2014-11-07

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