Senior members of Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party have blamed Hamas for launching a wave of bomb attacks targeting Fatah officials in the Gaza Strip, in a new sign of tension between the Palestinian factions.
“The Fatah central committee condemns the crimes which took place this morning against its leaders and lays the responsibility for these crimes upon Hamas,” senior Fatah official Nasser al-Qidwa told a news conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah, AFP reported.
According to reports, at least 10 explosions occurred hitting the houses and cars belonging to senior Fatah officials. There were no reports of deaths or injuries.
As a result of bombs attacks, PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and other senior Fatah officials have canceled plans to tour Gaza and hold a public commemoration of former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
Hamas has been in control of Gaza since ousting the Fatah-controlled PA in 2007. Last spring, Fatah and Hamas signed a reconciliation agreement that was expected to end years of tensions between the groups and form a unity government. But progress has been slow on reconciliation as both groups continue to show open hostility and mistrust. At the same time, Israel has refused to negotiate with any Palestinian government that includes Hamas, whose charter vows the destruction of the Jewish state.