As protests against Hamas’s rule in Gaza continue, Fatah, the faction headed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, accused the terror group of beating and severely injuring its spokesman, Agence France-Presse reported Monday.
Hamas, the terrorist organization that exercises complete political and military control over Gaza, has denied the charge and said that it will investigate the incident. The terror group made the pledge “amid days of violent crackdown by its security forces on protests in Gaza,” AFP reported.
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The attack on Ateh Abu Seif, a Gaza-based spokesman for Fatah, as well as a member of its central committee, was reported by Wafa, a Fatah-affiliated news agency. He was reportedly beaten in his own home by a group of men.
Pictures appearing on Wafa showed Abu Seif with his head and leg bandaged. His clothes were bloodstained.
Mahmoud Aloul, deputy chairman of Fatah, charged that Hamas had attempted to carry out an assassination of a rival.
Iyad al-Bozum, a spokesman for the Hamas-run Interior Ministry in Gaza, condemned the attack on Abu Seif and told AFP that the police were investigating.
In 2007, a year after winning Palestinian legislative elections, Hamas launched a coup, chasing most Fatah forces from Gaza.
The protests against Hamas and high prices in Gaza began last Thursday.
The brutal suppression of the protests earned the terror group condemnation from Nikolay Mladenov, the United Nations envoy to Israel and the Palestinian territories, who condemned the “campaign of arrests and violence used by Hamas security forces against protesters, including women and children.”
Mladenov also said that he was “particularly alarmed” by the beatings of journalist and human rights workers, as well as the raids on their homes.
The people of Gaza have the “right to protest without fear of reprisal,” he added.
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