- Title: WEST BANK: Fatah supporters in the West Bank raid Hamas offices
- Date: 16th June 2007
- Summary: (BN09) RAMALLAH, WEST BANK (JUNE 16, 2007) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF FATAH MILITANTS CLIMBING THE PALESTINIAN LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL (PLC) MASKED FATAH MILITANTS WALKING TOWARDS PLC BUILDING MASKED MILITANT CARRYING MACHINE GUN AND A FLAG FATAH MASKED MILITANTS WALKING TO PLC BUILDING VARIOUS OF FATAH MASKED MILITANTS TAKING OVER THE BUILDING VARIOUS OF FATAH MASKED MILITANTS TAKING OVER THE ROOF OF PLC VARIOUS OF PEOPLE OUTSIDE OF BUILDING CLAPPING HANDS AND CHANTING MILITANTS PUSHING HASSAN KHARESHI, PLC DEPUTY SPEAKER OF HAMAS, THROUGH CROWD VARIOUS OF CROWD
- Embargoed: 1st July 2007 13:00
- Topics: Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVACVU9TUWAMB4VPP69N9LJ6NNL2
- Story Text: Hundreds of Fatah loyalists raided Hamas and government offices across the West Bank on Saturday (June 16) as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas prepared to swear in a new prime minister and cabinet over Hamas's objections, officials said.
In the West Bank city of Ramallah, about 50 Fatah gunmen and 200 other demonstrators stormed a Palestinian parliament building.
Witnesses said the militants grabbed the deputy speaker, who is aligned with Hamas, and dragged him from the building. He was not hurt.
In the West Bank city of Hebron, al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades militants, an offshoot of Fatah, stormed Education Ministry offices, firing in the air and demanding that Hamas supporters stop working there.
Many Fatah supporters fear reprisals from Hamas militants following its bloody takeover of the impoverished coastal strip. Abbas sacked the Hamas-led government on Thursday (June 14).
An aide to Abbas said as many as 3,000 Fatah supporters left through the Erez Crossing between Gaza and Israel, but Israeli officials at the crossing disputed that figure.
Other Palestinian officials said hundreds of Fatah supporters were allowed by Israel to exist Gaza through Erez and then travel to the occupied West Bank.
Arab governments said they would support Abbas and called for a return to the situation before the Islamist movement's bloody takeover of the coastal strip.
Ismail Haniyeh, who became prime minister after Hamas won parliamentary elections in January 2006, has refused to accept his dismissal.
Abbas has tapped Salam Fayyad, a Western-backed independent lawmaker, to serve as prime minister of the emergency government in what Hamas said amounted to a coup.
Abbas sacked the three-month-old unity government he formed with Hamas on Thursday after the group routed his forces in the Gaza Strip and began imposing a new order in the enclave after days of bloody civil war.
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