At least seven Palestinians were killed in renewed factional fighting in the Gaza Strip.
Rival gunmen from Hamas and Fatah exchanged fire Monday and Tuesday in the worst internal Gaza clashes since the June civil war.
The fighting appeared to have been sparked by Fatah’s plan to commemorate the 43rd anniversary of its founding in defiance of a ban by Hamas.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, the moderate Fatah leader who lost control of Gaza to Islamist Hamas, called Monday for reconciliation through new national elections.
This was rejected by Hamas, which accused Abbas of siding with the “Zionists” – a reference to recent U.S.-brokered efforts to restart peace talks with Israel.