There has been another violent protest by militants in Gaza, this time over the arrest of one of their leaders suspected of involvement in the kidnapping of three Britons.
Around 20 Palestinian gunmen belonging to the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades forced their way into a government office in Rafah demanding the release of the commander. Elsewhere militants exploded a small bomb at the Gaza/Egypt border fence as part of the same protest.
The incidents were the latest in a series of disturbances that have threatened to delay forthcoming parliamentary elections.
Campaigning is now underway for the January 25th vote in which President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah group is trying to stave off a challenge from the Hamas movement.
Abbas has said the ballot could be postponed if Israel moves to prevent balloting from taking place in Arab east Jerusalem. Israeli authorities have indicated it will take such action because of the candidacy of Hamas.
Yesterday Israeli police blocked Palestinians from campaigning there
The White House has begun putting pressure on Israel to allow the poll to go ahead.