Palestinian civil war kills 21 in two days of fighting


Six Palestinians were killed Saturday in clashes between Fatah and Hamas throughout the Gaza Strip, bringing the number of fatalities since fighting began Thursday to 21.

Two men were killed Saturday as gunmen exchanged fire near Gaza City's Islamic University. Two died in the neighborhood of Tal al-Howa, one in the Sudeniya refugee camp and one died of his wounds in a Gaza hospital.

Earlier, Hamas and Fatah gunmen firing mortar shells and lobbing grenades fought outside a security compound in Gaza City.

The ruling Hamas movement said Friday evening that it was suspending talks with Fatah on forming a unity government in the wake of the ongoing fighting.

"Following the awful massacres committed today in Gaza and northern Gaza... we have decided to postpone all dialogue with Fatah," said Hamas spokesman Ismail Radwan.

Earlier, Fatah also said it was suspending negotiations.

Representatives of Fatah and Hamas reached a cease-fire agreement Friday evening, in a meeting with Palestinian Interior Minister Said Siyam in Gaza, although the cease-fire has yet to be implemented.

Gaza hospital officials said a 2-year-old boy was killed when Fatah gunmen fired at a car believed to be carrying Hamas militants in the southern town of Khan Yunis. Hamas and Fatah officials accused each other of firing the deadly shot.

In other fighting, gunmen exchanged fire outside a mosque in Gaza City. Hamas said three members were killed.

A militant of the Fatah-linked Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and two bystanders were also killed in the violence.

Al-Aqsa said it seized 24 Hamas supporters in Gaza and the West Bank and threatened a "severe response" if Hamas gunmen hurt a senior Fatah militant besieged in Gaza.

This civil war has several of the elements of the war the Palestinians wage with Israel, but has little of the PR victim offensives. While the photo above is an AP photo published in an Israeli paper, you don't get the typical children victim of violence stories or pictures that seem to dominate the news when the Palestinians or Hezballah are fighting Israel.

The conduct of the battle differs in other ways too. So far there have been no human bomb attacks. There are, however, continuing battles in civilian areas. The most striking aspect is the difference in the PR war. It is a war that receives little notice or coverage outside of Israel, but if the Israelis were involved it would be front page news.

I suspect this is because the storyline from this fight does not fit the agenda of the people making editorial decisions. When those who are creating victims are Palestinians it still is not big news. They are held to a different standard which only encourages their bad behavior.


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