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Tensions still high in Gaza

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Tensions still high in Gaza

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Fighting continues in Gaza between rival Palestinian factions after a day of clashes and gunbattles left one Fatah supporter dead. After appeals for a truce were ignored Fatah and Hamas militants clashed throughout the day, with fresh gunbattles erupting overnight. Hamas leader and Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh called for calm, and repeated his desire to see the establishment of a national unity government.

He reminded his supporters not to shed their Palestinian brother’s blood, so the killings became kidnappings. After Hamas accused Fatah of snatching one of their men, Hamas then took nine Fatah officials, before releasing one, a former minister under Yasser Arafat.

The truce had been agreed late on Sunday, and despite the clashes and shooting over the last 24 hours, a fragile ceasefire appears to be holding. However calls from Fatah to end the crisis by holding fresh elections are not finding much support in Gaza, the Hamas stronghold. For the moment, the violence is not spilling into the West Bank.