- Title: GAZA: Palestinians battle on in Gaza, death toll reaches 53
- Date: 13th June 2007
- Summary: (W2) JABALYA REFUGEE CAMP, NORTHERN GAZA (JUNE 13, 2007) (REUTERS) PEOPLE GATHERED NEAR CHARRED BUS CLOSE OF BURNT BUS DESTRUCTION WHERE HAMAS TOOK OVER FATAH NATIONAL SECURITY POST CLOSE OF HOLE IN A HOUSE WIDE OF PEOPLE GATHERED ON SITE EXTERIOR OF BURNT HOUSE, DAMAGED CAR VARIOUS OF CHAOS INSIDE HOUSE CLOSE OF SHOE WITH BLOOD SPOT HAMAS MILITANT VARIOUS OF HAMAS GUNMEN AFTER THEY TOOK OVER NATIONAL SECURITY POST CLOSE OF MILITANT HAMAS GUNMEN DRIVING IN JEEP VARIOUS OF MILITANTS TAKING OVER NATIONAL SECURITY OFFICE HAMAS MILITANTS SURROUNDING NATIONAL SECURITY OFFICE CLOSE OF GUNMAN VARIOUS OF HAMAS MILITANTS PUTTING HAMAS FLAG ON THE NATIONAL SECURITY POST
- Embargoed: 28th June 2007 16:29
- Topics: War / Fighting
- Reuters ID: LVA6ZKYA7CGVFG7BYGL3G810X8TQ
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: Gaza's violence reaches new peak as at least six Palestinians killed early morning and the death toll rises to 53 in fiercest fighting in months. Palestinians continued battling across the Gaza Strip early on Wednesday (June 13) and six more factional fighters were killed, raising the death toll to 53 in four days of the fiercest internal fighting in months, hospital officials said.
The bodies were transferred to various hospitals in Gaza City and the northern strip.
In the northern refugee camp of Beit Lahiya Palestinians gathered to examine the destruction caused yesterday by rival factions.
Gunmen from the Islamist Hamas movement attacked positions controlled by security forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah throughout central Gaza, killing one militant and wounding at least 10, hospital officials said.
In one clash alone, four Fatah men were killed, Fatah officials said. Hamas said it had taken over several posts from Abbas's National Security Force in the fighting.
Another Fatah member was killed after Hamas gunmen fought with Fatah security officers in Gaza City.
Hamas said secular Fatah militants fired a rocket-propelled grenade against the house of its Deputy Minister of Information, setting the house ablaze but causing no injuries.
Palestinians gathered outside the hospitals across the city, condemning the latest violence and chaos, which they called 'bloody Tuesday'.
They chanted: 'God will take revenge from Abu Mazen and Haniyeh'.
Hamas fighters, however, seemed to be in no mood to halt their campaign.
Wearing black ski masks and aiming their assault rifles in the air, they posed for television cameras at a security base they wrested from Fatah in a battle in the northern Gaza Strip which 15 people were killed on Tuesday (June 12) .
Piling into the back of a pick-up truck, the gunmen tore through its courtyard, kicking up dust in a show of bravado.
Hamas and Fatah have been locked in a bloody power struggle that has touched off a wave of fighting and has pushed the Gaza Strip to the brink of civil war. A Palestinian minister warned on Wednesday the violence could spread to the West Bank, where a larger number of Palestinians live in relative calm.
Late on Tuesday, Fatah's leaders said they would quit the three-month-old unity government they joined under Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh if the fighting did not end.
The head of an Egyptian security delegation in Gaza that has tried to mediate over the past months called for a rally at 11 a.m. (0800 GMT) to demand the militants lay down their arms.
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