One of the Hamas leader’s bodyguards was killed after border guards of the Fatah faction reportedly opened fire. Tensions were already soaring over Israel’s detention of Haniyeh to prevent him taking huge sums of cash across the border between Egypt and Gaza. After his release several hours later he spoke angrily about the incident and shooting that erupted as his convoy left the Rafah border crossing. Some 20 others were injured in the gunfire that followed days of similar battles in the area. The two sides are locked in a bitter power struggle in the Palestinian territories.
Haniyeh had cut short his fund-rising tour of Muslim nations. He had hoped to bring around 27 million euros in donations back with him. But the Israelis, who believe the money is destined for Hamas militants and not the cash-strapped government as Haniyeh claims, stopped him. It is currently being held by Haniyeh aides across the border in Egypt. Diplomatic sources said the funds would be handed over to the Arab League. It has previously transferred money only to moderate President Mahmoud Abbas’s office to get around economic sanctions on the Hamas government.