Hamas terrorist group responsible for assault on PLO Gaza offices
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Affected Countries: palestine;
The PLO condemned an “assault” on its offices in the Gaza Strip and said the unknown assailants were backed by Hamas.
The assailants stormed the PLO’s Department for Refugee Affairs, destroyed furniture and stole various items, sources in the Gaza Strip said. No group claimed responsibility for the “assault,” and the motives of the attackers were unknown.
A Palestinian journalist in Gaza said he did not rule out the possibility that the incident was simply a break-in by burglars. Crime has soared as poverty has spread in the impoverished and lawless Hamas-controlled coastal enclave.
The incident drew strong condemnations from the PLO and its largest faction, Fatah, which rushed to blame Hamas for the “assault.”
The “pre-planned assault by rogue individuals and groups was carried out under the patronage and support of Hamas and its gunmen,” the PLO Executive Committee said in a statement on Sunday.
Noting that the offices that were targeted are responsible for following up on the interests of Palestinian refugees, the committee warned that such practices “reinforce the division” between the Palestinian Authority-controlled West Bank and the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.
Fatah accused Hamas of “facilitating the assault and providing protection and support for the assailants.”
Sunday’s incident, Fatah said, represents a “continuation of Hamas’ policy of targeting Palestinian national institutions. This is a new crime that is added to Hamas’s series of crimes against the Palestinian people and their national and legitimate institutions.”
Several Palestinian factions also condemned the “assault” on the PLO offices and called on Hamas to launch an investigation and provide protection for Palestinian institutions in the Gaza Strip.