Interfactional violence continues to rage in Gaza after Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas called for early elections. After Hamas gunmen killed a soldier in a dawn raid on the presidential guard, the convoy of the foreign minister, a Hamas member, came under attack on Sunday.
He was said to be unharmed. Attacks in the past week have led to the deaths of all three children of one of Abbas’ close aides. A convoy carrying Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh himself was also been targetted. The call for an early ballot triggered protests and violent clashes throughout the night, like here in the Khan Younis.
Internal tensions are at their worst in a decade and have stirred fears of civil war. Talks between the ruling Hamas and its Fatah rivals on forming a unity government have repeatedly failed in recent months. The president blames Hamas for the political deadlock saying its refusal to recognise Israel and renounce violence has led to crippling sanctions by the West. Hamas has said it will not allow early elections. Polls are unlikely to be held before the middle of next year.