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Gaza death toll mounts, minister resigns

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Gaza death toll mounts, minister resigns


Fighting between rival Fatah and Hamas groups has continued in Gaza, with two more killed despite the declaration of a ceasefire. This brings the death toll to seven since the outbreak of new factional strife last Friday. At least 40 people have been wounded overall.

Hamas gunmen exchanged fire with Fatah security officers, with two Fatah men killed and 10 other people wounded. It’s the deadliest oubtreak of factional violence for several months. Sources in President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement warn that tensions with Hamas, its power-sharing partner, are so great that their unity government could collapse within days.

Officials announced that interior minister Hani el Kaouasmi was leaving the government. They said the minister had handed in his resignation last month because of ongoing disorders but had agreed to remain in his post. His resignation was accepted on Monday.

Under an Egyptian-brokered truce announced on Sunday, the two sides were supposed to pull their gunmen off the streets. The territory has sunk into political disarray since Israel unilaterally withdrew troops and settlers in 2005.

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