USC Students for Justice in Palestine

history, analysis, news, and event updates on the struggle for justice in palestine

BBC: Hamas closes government offices amid civil strife

Posted by uscsjp on October 2, 2006

full story: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5398706.stm

The Palestinian government says work will cease in all government offices, a day after its headquarters in Ramallah were stormed by protesters.
The Hamas-led administration said the suspension also followed “attempts to kidnap officials”.

Rival gunmen from the Hamas and Fatah movements have clashed again in the West Bank, causing several casualties.

Deadly gun battles started in Gaza on Sunday after pro-Hamas militiamen moved to quell protests about unpaid wages. . .

Prime Minister Ismail Haniya of Hamas has called for calm after Sunday’s factional fighting, which left eight people dead and about 60 wounded.

The interior ministry said Hamas militiamen had been ordered to withdraw, and Gaza’s streets were back under control of regular security forces. . .

The government says it cannot afford to pay the full salaries of civil servants because of the embargo by Israel and Western countries, which regard Hamas as a terrorist organisation.

Mr Haniya has also been locked in an increasingly bitter power struggle with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah.

The two have been trying unsuccessfully to form a unity government, eight months after Hamas crushed Fatah in parliamentary elections.

Mr Abbas is being pressured by Washington not to join a Hamas-led government unless it meets international demands, including recognition of the legitimacy of Israel.

This week Mr Abbas is due to meet US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who is visiting the region in an effort to restart peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

Also on Monday, a Palestinian fisherman from southern Gaza was killed by fire from an Israeli naval ship, after he strayed beyond the authorised area for fishing imposed by the Israelis in Gaza’s territorial waters.

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