There were scenes of chaos in the Palestinian parliament as dozens of policemen stormed the building to press demands for a security crackdown on Hamas militants.
It came after a night of clashes between members of the group and security forces in Gaza. The Palestinian parliament voted on Monday to urge President Mahmoud Abbas to form a new government for failing to halt armed chaos in Gaza after Israel’s pullout. The legislators largely endorsed a parliamentary committee’s report criticising the cabinet for its handling of factional anarchy. In yesterday’s violence a police commander and two civilian bystanders were killed in a street battle between the two sides. During the officer’s funeral this morning there was more shooting when Hamas fighters reportedly fired on the cortege. The fighting highlights the problems facing Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas following Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza. Analysts had warned of a possible power struggle among the Palestinians.