MediaLine reports that the violence in Gaza is intensifying, despite efforts by Hamas and Fatah leaders to rein in their armed wings. Hamas gunmen opened fire on a group of women and children to the north of Gaza City just a short while ago. Numerous women were wounded according to eyewitnesses.
The group was attempting to prevent Hamas from breaking into Palestinian General Intelligence headquarters where Palestinian Authority armed personnel were holed up. The women and children were barred from advancing and then gunmen opened fire on them, eyewitnesses said.
A panel of security officials from Egypt has met a team of Palestinian government staff in a bid to end the violence. According to Palestinian Interior Ministry spokesman Khalid Abu Hilal, the sides agreed a three point plan:
- All armed forces return to their bases
- Release all those kidnapped and currently held by Palestinian factions
- Create a joint committee of all armed forces to discuss a path out of the deadlock.
Residents of Jabaliyya, to the north of Gaza City, have fled their homes fearing they may become the next victims of mortar attacks by Hamas' Executive Force. The force, established as a direct challenge to the official Palestinian security forces has been involved in heavy exchanges of gunfire with Palestinian intelligence officers in the area.
The violence reached a new peak today when the street battles moved inside Gaza's A-Shifa medical complex. Mortar shells were fired inside the hospital’s emergency room. A member of Hamas, Ismail Abu Al-Kheir was killed and 11 people were wounded during the battle.
Nine schoolchildren were wounded and two armed officers were also killed today. The dead men were loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The bodies of two intelligence officers were discovered in a dumpster after they had been kidnapped.