World Bulletin/News Desk
A senior official with Palestinian faction Hamas has rejected charges by the rival Fatah movement that it was responsible for allowing attacks on the homes and vehicles of several leading Fatah members in Gaza early Friday.
"The painful, unacceptable attacks on the homes of our Fatah brothers took us by complete surprise," said senior Hamas official Khalil al-Hayya, according to an Anadolu Agency correspondent.
Al-Hayya was speaking at a rally organized by the group to honor the families of Palestinians killed during Israel's recent 51-day onslaught on the Gaza Strip.
The Hamas official also stressed the need "to find the culprits quickly," calling on all Palestinian factions to shoulder their responsibilities in this regard.
He also expressed his refusal that the incident be used as a pretext by Palestine's national unity government to evade its responsibilities vis-à-vis the blockades strip.
"If Fatah has any leads as to who carried out the bombings, it should present them to the authorities... We refuse to exploit such incidents in order to avoid the reconciliation process," al-Hayya said.
Early Friday morning, a series of blasts went off outside the homes of several senior Fatah movement officials in Gaza. One of the blasts went off near a stage set up for a planned rally later this month to commemorate late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
The explosions did not cause any casualties or injuries.
Hamas, for its part, decried the attacks, describing them as "criminal."
Fatah, for its part, said in a statement: "These blasts undermine the pillars on which the process of ending Palestinian division is based."
It stopped short, however of directly accusing any party of carrying out the bombings.
Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation deal in April aimed at ending seven years of division, which had led to the establishment of two rival seats of government – in Gaza and Ramallah respectively – after Hamas routed pro-Fatah forces in 2007 and took control of the entire Gaza Strip.
The April reconciliation deal led to the formation of a Palestinian unity government in June.Last Mod: 07 Kasım 2014, 22:36