Several people have been wounded in separate outbreaks of fighting in the Gaza Strip – including a clash between militants and members of the security forces outside a government ministry. In another incident, armed men tried to take control of a military hospital in the territory, to demand late salaries be paid. Shots were also reportedly fired at police headquarters in Gaza City.
And in fighting on the main north-south Gaza highway, several people were hurt. Such incidents have become increasingly common in the Gaza Strip since Israel pulled out last September and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas failed to deliver on promises of employment for militants who had fought Israeli forces. Hamas, which won January’s Palestinian election, blames the previous administration for the problems and has pledged to tackle the situation. But that could prove difficult. The cash-strapped Palestinian Authority is already faced with problems paying some of its employees and could be plunged into further difficulties when it comes to getting foreign aid, once a government led by Hamas is sworn in.