Thousands of Fatah activists have called on the party leadership to resign as the fallout continues from Wednesday’s general election.
The militant Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade joined the protest in Gaza and threatened to “liquidate” Fatah leaders if they join a Hamas led government.
Hamas’ shock victory has changed the face of the region’s politics and plunged Middle East peacemaking into crisis once again.
The Islamic militant group says it wants to hold talks with President leader Mahmoud Abbas on a “political partnership”. But Fatah leaders have rejected a coalition.
The United States, meanwhile, has threatened to cut off aid if Hamas doesn’t renounce violence. White House spokesman, Scott McClellan, says the government’s position will not change.
“We have made it clear that we do not and will not deal with Hamas because it is a terrorist organisation that has as part of its platform the destruction of Israel.”
Sentiments shared by veteran Israeli politician, Shimon Peres, who says Hamas has lots of problems to solve before it is in a position to deal with Isreal.
“They have 150,000 people to pay salaries and wages to and where are they going to get the money from? They are in a deep deficit, they have to introduce law and order, forget about Israel, this time they have to answer to their own people.”
At least three people were wounded in the first armed clashes between Hamas and Fatah militants since Wednesday’s vote.
The gunbattle took place near the southern city of Khan Younis. Elsewhere, two policemen were injured when suspected Hamas supporters fired at a patrol car.