Thursday, June 14, 2007

The deaths keep piling up

JPost puts Wednesday's count at 35.

Ha'aretz adds 8 for Thursday.

Out PalArab self-death count for 2007 is now at 390.

Rumors that Fatah will finally take off their gloves are today's news, but it is unclear how many gloves they have left.

Fatah is discovering tunnels filled with explosives under their buildings; Hamas seems to have been busy in recent weeks. Hamas, of course, claim that the tunnels were meant to kill Jews. Yesterday some 10 Fatah members were killed when Hamas detonated a one ton bomb under their building in Khan Younis.

Ma'an English has the best description of the current state of the civil war as it is spreading beyond Gaza to the West Bank:
The main headquarters of the Preventive Security service in the Gaza Strip, known as Tal Al-Hawa, and the main building of the general intelligence services, known as Al-Mashtal, in western Gaza City, were the prime targets of Hamas' attacks on Wednesday night.

Our correspondent stated that the death toll in Gaza since Wednesday afternoon rose to 33 after the clashes between Hamas forces and the Bakr family came to an end. Five members of the Bakr family were killed. Dozens more were abducted in addition to three others who were killed earlier.

Furthermore, two brothers from the Afana family were killed in clashes which erupted in the centre of the city, and both were Fatah activists. A Hamas operative was also killed in Tal Al-Hawa.

Earlier, 11 Palestinians were killed and around a hundred were injured in clashes in Khan Younis, in the south of the Gaza Strip, after which Hamas took control of the headquarters of the national and preventive security forces.

Haniyeh and Abbas vainly call for a ceasefire

On Wednesday night, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Isma'il Haniyeh called for all hostilities to cease.

In a telephone call, Abbas and Haniyeh stressed that "efforts must be exerted in order to reach a ceasefire agreement." They called on all parties to cease hostilities, resume dialogue and to respect the previous agreements, especially the Mecca accord, in order to protect the national unity.

Fatah gunmen retaliate in the West Bank

However, the fighting continued and spread to the West Bank where Fatah-affiliated gunmen responded to the attacks on its facilities in Gaza by attacking Hamas' headquarters and institutions.

In the city of Ramallah in the central West Bank, Hamas accused Fatah of launching a campaign of arrests and break-ins against Hamas members.

Hamas sources told Ma'an that large numbers of Fatah-affiliated security services broke into Hamas members' homes in Ramallah and its suburb of Beitunia, arresting many and ransacking homes.

Hamas affirmed in telephone call to Ma'an that Fatah gunmen abducted attorney Rabi' Rabi', who is a member of the local council of Ramallah, after setting fire to his office in the city centre on Thursday morning.

Hamas also accused the security services of arresting the director of the Islamic endowment department in Ramallah, Majid Saqir, on Thursday. They added that Fatah gunmen also opened fire at the West Bank director of Hamas' Al-Aqsa Satellite TV, Muhammad Shtewi.

Hamas also said that gunmen opened fire at the home of the imam of the Beitunia mosque, Sheikh Iyad Ajlouni, at 3:00 am.

In the northern West Bank city of Salfit, south of Nablus, Hamas said that gunmen set fire to the local office of the Hamas bloc in the Palestinian Legislative Council, which is located in the village of Bidya, north of Salfit. The gunmen, according to Hamas sources, broke into the Nahda Society for Orphans, which is also Hamas-affiliated. In addition, the Juthour centre and the 'Bayan As-Sahafi' offices, also Hamas-affiliated, were broken into and equipment stolen.

In Tulkarem, also in the northern West Bank, our correspondent reported that unidentified gunmen opened fire at the 'Mass Press' information office, also Hamas-affiliated, causing huge material damage. No casualties or injuries were reported.

Unidentified people also torched 2 cars belonging to the Isra' schools, which belong to the Islamic alms-giving committee in Tulkarem.

In Jenin in the north of the West Bank, about 200 gunmen set ablaze the building of the Islamic club and damaged the property. They also besieged the Al-Iman school and raised the flags of Fatah and Fatah's armed wing, the Al-Aqsa Brigades, on the rooftops.

Unidentified gunmen also opened fire at Hamas members in the villages of Silat Al-Harithiya and Al-Yamun, located north west of Jenin city. Gunmen broke into homes of Hamas activists, intending to arrest them, but they were not at home.

Thursday's copies of 'Filasteen' ('Palestine') newspaper, which is considered close to Hamas, were also burned on Thursday morning by gunmen while being delivered from Ramallah to Jenin.

In Bethlehem in the southern West Bank, unidentified people torched the car of the Mufti of Bethlehem, Abdul Majid Ata, in front of his home in Dheishah refugee camp in the south of the city

UPDATE: JPost counts 14 dead in morning fighting in Gaza City, which presumably doesn't count the one from early this morning I mentioned in my last post on the topic. So my best guess on the death count is now up to 397. Grim milestone ahead!

UPDATE 2: Ma'an Arabic counts 16 today, but they might be including this morning's guy. So we are conservatively at 398.

JPost has the death toll at 25 by mid-afternoon. Also, Hamas claims to have found documentation of ties between Fatah and the CIA. 407.

Ma'an Arabic counts 27. 409.

UPDATE 5: PCHR counted 36 on Tuesday, I only had 35. 410.

Hamas blew up a family, including 4 kids, in a car in Rafah - and are claiming that it was from an Israeli tank. Israel denies being anywhere near there. Witnesses said it was from Hamas/Fatah fighting. 415.

UPDATE 7: The first West Bank death. 416.

UPDATE 8: A Hamas terrorist dies of his wounds Friday morning. 417.