Hamas forces assaulted the compound of a heavily armed Gaza clan early Tuesday, sparking a fierce street battle that killed 11 people in fighting throughout the night, Hamas officials said. Two bystanders, including a young boy, were among the dead.Once again, I find myself conflicted and cannot choose sides to root for.
Machine-gun fire and explosions were heard around the Gaza City neighborhood home to the Doghmush clan, a notorious family with links to both terror and criminal groups. Members of the clan were responsible for kidnapping a British Broadcasting Corp. journalist last year.
Since violently taking over Gaza last year, Hamas has moved to establish order in Gaza's once-chaotic streets and eliminate groups who could threaten its rule. Eleven people died in early August in a clash between Hamas forces and another clan aligned with its Fatah rivals.
Hamas launched the assault shortly after midnight, hours after a member of the Doghmush clan killed a policeman while resisting police. The fighting erupted after the clan refused to turn the man over, said Interior Ministry spokesman Ihab Ghussen, and continued for about nine hours.
Eight members of the family and one policeman were killed in the fighting, along with the two bystanders, he said. The age of the boy was not immediately known. Forty people were wounded, he added.
No immediate confirmation was available from the Doghmush clan. Earlier, the family posted an announcement on a Gaza Web site saying several of its members were hurt.
"Explosions and shooting are coming from all directions. The sky is raining bullets, and my children are terrified and they are screaming," one local resident said as the fighting raged. A 55-year-old father of five, he gave his name only as Ziad because he did not want to draw the attention of the clan or of the authorities.
The battle raged outside the house of a senior Hamas leader, Mahmoud Zahar, who lives in the same neighborhood.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Secretarian Harmony Hamas Style
In an ongoing effort to create and promote secretarian harmony, Hamas has it out with the Doghmush clan of the Gaza Strip reports the Jerusalem Post: