Everything is back to normal.
A senior Hamas militant was killed early Sunday in a shootout with the rival Fatah group in the Gaza Strip, officials from both Palestinian factions said.Our count of Palestinian Arabs violently killed this year is now at 133. (I won't keep the count since Summer Rains, as that number is always going to be 205 more than this year's count.) And unless there is a huge event this week, this post is where I'll keep the death count updated.
It was the first fatality in such factional fighting since leaders of the two sides reached a Saudi-sponsored agreement to form a national unity government a month ago.
Each side blamed the other for starting the firefight in the town of Beit Hanun in the northern part of the coastal strip. Another Hamas gunman and at least two Fatah militants were also wounded in the fighting.
The man killed in the shootout was identified as Mohammad al-Kafarna, a member of the Hamas-led government's Executive Force. Hamas accused Fatah of ambushing his car.
Fatah spokesman Abdel-Halim Awad accused gunmen of the ruling Islamist Hamas movement of ambushing members of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, which is linked to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction.
He said Hamas fighters were attacking a Fatah office in Beit Hanun with rocket-propelled grenades.
Residents said gunfire and explosions were echoing across the town as the Fatah office and a separate Fatah security complex came under mortar fire.
...[Thee was] fresh factional violence in the Palestinian territories Saturday, when gunmen stopped a car carrying a Hamas cabinet minister and opened fire on the vehicle, officials said.
The militants opened fire, hitting the vehicle four times, security officials said. Hamas forces quickly rushed to the scene, and an exchange of fire ensued. The three gunmen then fled, Hamas officials said.
Hamas accused Palestinian security officials with ties to Fatah of being behind the attack. Security officials said they were aware of the incident but did not know who was responsible.
Earlier Saturday, Palestinian militants opened fire at Palestinian security headquarters in Jenin, demanding that they receive long-overdue salaries promised by the government, witnesses said.
The gunfire forced all government offices in this West Bank city to close.
About 20 members of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades gathered outside the security building, periodically firing rounds. There were no reports of injuries, and security officers inside the building did not fire back, the witnesses said.
After winning elections in 2005, Abbas promised police jobs to hundreds of militants in order to bring the violent groups under control. The militants participating in Saturday's protest said they were paid several times, but stopped receiving salaries last year.
After about an hour, the militants retreated, saying they had received assurances that their demands would be met.
Zakariye Zubeydi, the local Al Aqsa leader, said he ordered his men to halt their fire after the government agreed to resume payments to families of men killed in violence with Israel, and to open negotiations on paying the militants their back salaries.
"We solved the problem. We stopped shooting," he said.
UPDATE: In an honor/shame society, murder is preferable to shame. Even infanticide.
Two women killed their newborns in the territories in the last couple of days because they had gotten pregnant "illegally."
The investigators affirmed that the woman confessed to the crime. The defendant said "I gave birth to my baby girl in my father's house and then closed the baby's mouth with my hand so that the baby wouldn't scream, this is what caused the death." She affirmed that she illegally became pregnant. She also admitted that she handed the dead body to the illegal father who was captured while trying to bury the corpse.135.
In a separate incident, detectives said they have found the dead body of a baby girl on a street in Rafah. After investigations, they could identify the mother from the hospital where the baby was delivered. The mother admitted that she left her baby in the street out of fear of a scandal because the pregnancy was a result of adultery.
UPDATE 2: Hamas leader killed in Gaza. It seems that a man's car was stolen and he found it being used by Hamas. His family and Hamas got into a gun battle. 136. Plus a few injured...