Peaceful commemoration turns deadly in Gaza

November 12, 2007

Hamas, Fatah clash kills 6 on third anniversary of Arafat's death

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Hamas, Fatah clash kills 6 on third anniversary of Arafat's death



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Story Transcript

ZAA NKWETA, PRESENTER/PRODUCER: Violence erupted on the streets of Gaza today. At least six are dead and approximately eighty are wounded as Hamas gunmen and Fatah supporters exchanged gunfire. According to observers, the rally was the largest public display of support for Fatah since it was forced out of power by Hamas in June. Both sides accused each other of firing first. We now go to Taghreed El-Khodary, reporting from Gaza.

Violence erupts at Fatah rally

Gaza City, Gaza

VOICE OF TAGHREED EL-KHODARY: Six Fatah supporters killed and more than eighty were injured in Gaza city by Hamas policemen in a mass rally that was aimed to mark the third anniversary of the death of Yasser Arafat. According to hospital sources, fifteen are seriously injured. For one hour the rally was extremely peaceful. Fatah and Palestinian flags were everywhere. Almost 250,000 participated. What was peaceful for one hour ended to be violent for another hour and a half. For one hour and a half, shooting took place between both sides. Also stoning by young Fatah supporters, it forced Hamas to leave men.

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EHAB GHUSSEN, HAMAS SPOKESPERSON (SUBTITLED TRANSLATION): There are clear pictures of those who were shooting from the top of Al-Azhar university toward the police. People thought at first that the source of the shooting was from the opposite direction, but it turned out that the casualties were from the Palestinian police. Fatah bears full responsibility (for those actions). All those responsible for these actions will be held to account before the law. No one is above the law.

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MOHAMMAD DAHLAN, FATAH SPOKESMAN (SUBTITLED TRANSLATION): What happened today was a popular action by Fatah and all factions and sectors in protests against