Ap.org/ Coordinated blasts target Fatah officials in Gaza

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SHAFAQNA – A series of coordinated explosions targeted the homes of several leaders of President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah Party in the Gaza Strip early Friday, a party official said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the explosions occurred at a time of rising tensions with the rival Hamas movement.

Fayez Abu Eitta, a Fatah leader in Gaza’s Jebaliya refugee camp, said no one was hurt in the near-simultaneous attacks. He said his car was destroyed and the homes and cars of two other Fatah officials in Gaza City were also damaged.

Hamas seized control of Gaza from Fatah in 2007. The rival parties have recently pledged to reconcile, but there are still deep differences.

Fatah officials in Gaza are planning on commemorating the death of party founder Yasser Arafat on Nov. 11 for the first time since 2007.

During the previous commemoration, which took place shortly after the Hamas takeover that year, at least 10 people were killed in clashes between the rival sides, and Hamas activists have spoken out against this year’s event. A prominent Fatah blog said the stage for the ceremony was also hit by a blast, though the report could not be immediately confirmed.

Abu Eitta refused to speculate on who was behind the blasts, saying the incident was under investigation.

There were no signs of Israeli involvement, and the military said it was unaware of the blasts.

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