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Fatah holds Hamas responsible for Gaza bomb attacks

RAMALLAH: Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas’s Fatah movement said it held Islamist group Hamas responsible for a wave of bomb attacks against the homes of Fatah leaders in Gaza on Friday.

“The Fatah central committee condemns the crimes which took place this morning against its leaders and lays the responsiblity for these crimes upon Hamas,” senior Fatah official Nasser al-Qidwa told a news conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Hussein al-Sheikh, another member of the Fatah leadership, said he had “no doubt of the fact that Hamas bears the responsibility for what happened to Fatah leaders in Gaza.”

At least 10 explosions hit houses and cars belonging to senior Fatah members but no  casualties were reported.

Hamas ousted Abbas loyalists from Gaza in 2007 and rival administrations ruled in the West Bank and Gaza.

But earlier this year Hamas and Fatah struck a reconciliation agreement leading to the formation of a government of national unity.

Hamas was quick to condemn Friday’s pre-dawn attacks but Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad, in charge of his party’s reconciliation team, said that “does not absolve Hamas from bearing full responsibility.”

“Before last night there were signals and declarations by Hamas against Fatah and Mahmud Abbas, of which the most significant was that of a group of Hamas military officials who said they were going to torpedo planned  commemorations of the death of President Yasser Arafat,” he said.

It is the first time in years that a public commemoration of the iconic Palestinian leader and Fatah founder’s death has been planned in Gaza. (AFP)

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