You won’t see headlines like that in the MSM:
Here’sÂ Reuters Nidal Al Mughrabi:
GAZA (Reuters) – Hamas gunmen stormed the home of President Mahmoud Abbas’s top security chief in Gaza and at least nine people were killed in fierce factional fighting on Wednesday that pushed Palestinians closer to all-out civil war.
The raid on the home of Rashid Abu Shbak, one of the most powerful Fatah leaders, came shortly after mortars struck near Abbas’s Gaza office and gunmen attacked a Hamas position outside the Interior Ministry building.
Palestinian officials said the widening hostilities could bring down a two-month-old unity government formed between ruling Hamas Islamists and Abbas’s secular Fatah faction.
Fatah official said Abbas may declare a state of emergency, a move that could allow him to rule by decree for a limited period of time.
Terrified Gaza residents hid indoors as masked gunmen fought running battles street-to-street. Witnesses said militants were grabbing some civilians out of their cars to hold as hostages.
In one panicked call to a local radio station, a woman appealed to Abbas and Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas to act. “Do not leave us to die here,” she pleaded.
The rising death toll on Wednesday included four Fatah security guards at Abu Shbak’s home, a member of Abbas’s elite Presidential Guard and two member of the pro-Fatah Preventive Security service.
Israel launches air raid on Gaza after rocket fireÂ
by Charly Wegman
ERUSALEM (AFP) – Israel launched an air raid on an uninhabited area of Gaza on Wednesday after warning that it would respond “in a measured fashion” to continuing rocket fire from the lawless territory.
AFP Photo: Israeli police inspect the damage to a house in Sderot following a rocket attack
But Israel has for the moment ruled out a widescale incursion into the Gaza Strip, where escalating violence between rival groups has killed 30 people in four days.
“Our aircraft bombed uninhabited sectors of the Gaza Strip from where rockets have been launched against our territory,” an army spokeswoman told AFP. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.
Israel had warned it would respond to the continuing attacks that have seen 21 projectiles land inside the country since the flare-up of Palestinian internecine violence on Sunday, wounding two civilians.
“We will respond, without allowing ourselves to get involved in an uncontrollable escalation of violence,” government spokeswoman Miri Eisin told AFP.
Five rockets were launched on Wednesday, with three landing inside Israel causing damage but no injuries.
Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement that is the senior partner in the Palestinian coalition cabinet, claimed responsibility for the attacks in a statement.
“Israel will defend its nationals, but is a responsible state that wants to spare innocent victims among the Palestinians,” Eisin said. “Hamas will not dictate our actions and we will operate in a measured fashion.”
Defence Minister Amir Peretz, a resident of the town of Sderot that has borne the brunt of the fire, said Israel will react “severely.”
Hamas militants kill 6 Fatah bodyguardsÂ
By SARAH EL DEEB, Associated Press Writer
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – Hamas gunmen fatally shot six bodyguards from the rival Fatah movement Wednesday and mistakenly ambushed a jeep carrying their own fighters, killing five of them, in the bloodiest day of Palestinian infighting since violence erupted in the Gaza Strip four days ago.
Palestinian gunmen march during the funeral of security force officers loyal to the Fatah Movement that were killed during an attack by Hamas militants, in Deir Al Balah , in the central Gaza Strip
Militants from the hardline Islamist group also fired barrages of rockets at Israeli towns, an apparent attempt to draw Israel into the internal Palestinian conflict that has sent the coastal territory spiraling into chaos.
The streets of central Gaza City echoed with the rattle of gunfire, and were empty except for gunmen in black ski masks. Terrified residents huddled in dark homes after electricity to some downtown neighborhoods was cut off by a downed power line.
At midday Wednesday, policemen from the Fatah-allied Preventive Security organization arrested five Hamas men and were driving them through Gaza City when the vehicle was ambushed by Hamas fighters, Preventive Security officials told The Associated Press. Five of the Hamas men were killed, along with two Fatah men, they said. The exact circumstances of the incident were not immediately clear.
Hamas radio reported that a Hamas man was killed in another clash, and a nurse traveling in an ambulance was shot in the head after being caught in the crossfire, hospital officials said. Her family said she was brain dead and being kept alive by a respirator.
In four days of fighting, 41 people have been killed and dozens more have been injured. The majority of the fatalities have been from Fatah.