“In an apparent attempt to take control of the entire Gaza Strip.”
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – Hamas pounded Gaza City’s three main security compounds with mortars, grenades and assault rifles Wednesday, calling on beleaguered Fatah forces to surrender in an apparent attempt to take control of the entire Gaza Strip.
In one dramatic victory, hundreds of members of a Fatah-allied clan that had fought fiercely surrendered to masked Hamas gunmen.
Fatah fighters desperately tried to cling to their positions, but appeared outgunned by Hamas. One of the battles raged around the headquarters of the Fatah-allied Preventive Security, with both sides firing wildly from high-rise rooftops.
Dr. Wael Abdel Jawad, a physician trapped in his apartment in the line of fire, said he heard Fatah fighters shouting at colleagues on an adjacent roof to send them more ammuntion.
“All of us are terrified here. Shooting came through the windows of our apartment, children are screaming. We are hearing from a nearby mosque the call by Hamas to surrender,” he said.
President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah called the fighting “madness,” but his appeals for a cease-fire rang increasingly hollow as Hamas gunmen took over or destroyed one base or another of his security forces.