Fatah supporters in Gaza clamored for revenge against Hamas on Saturday as they buried the fourth victim of factional fighting this week. The renewed violence, which also claimed the life of a 4-year-old boy caught in crossfire, raised concerns that the power-sharing deal between the rivals might not hold.
Arafa Nofal, an officer from a security force loyal to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, was killed by unidentified gunmen in Gaza on Friday.
Nofal's family carried his bruised body, wrapped in Fatah's yellow flag and a Palestinian flag, through the streets of Gaza City. The response is coming, the response is coming, shouted the mourners, including dozens of gunmen.
Members of the Fatah-dominated Preventive Security force had earlier accused Hamas gunmen of abducting the officer during a third straight day of factional violence since the formation of a unity government.
Hamas declined immediate comment on the incident, but said the security officer had been responsible for the killing of a senior commander from the armed wing of Hamas last week.
Residents said gunmen from the Preventative Security have been deployed throughout the streets of Gaza.
On Thursday, a Palestinian toddler and a Palestinian man were killed by gunfire during clashes between Fatah and Hamas gunmen in the Gaza Strip.
Aiming to quell the tensions, Abbas and Haniyeh agreed to step up contacts between both sides, a Haniyeh aide said.
The toddler, 2, was killed Thursday evening as Fatah and Hamas gunmen exchanged gunfire in the northern Gaza Strip, medics said. They said that a female relative of the boy was wounded also by the gunshots.
Earlier Thursday, Samir Hilles, a 48-year-old Palestinian civilian, was shot to death during a showdown between his Fatah-affiliated family and members of a Hamas militia in the Gaza Strip, Hamas officials said.
At least three Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since Abbas and Haniyeh agreed to form a unity government last Saturday.
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