The latest victim in what seems to be tit-for-tat killings among Palestinian factions has been buried. The man, a leader of Hamas, was shot dead by three masked men as he left a mosque in the West Bank. The attack came one day after gunmen from a rival faction threatened to kill senior Hamas personnel, although local representatives admitted they did not know who was behind the killing.
It is suspected that Palestinian infighting has been responsible for the deaths of at least 12 people this week. A statement issued earlier by an armed faction of Fatah appeared to give credence to the death threats. But a parliamentary Fatah spokesperson declared it a fabrication. It is feared that the power struggle between the ruling Hamas militant movement and the Fatah faction of President Mahmoud Abbas is bringing ever closer the spectre of civil war.