GAZA CITY (AFP) – Palestinian interior minister Said Siam has vowed that his Hamas-led government would put an end to impunity and armed chaos after three people were killed in clashes between rival militants.
“We will ensure that nobody is above the law and demand an end to the instability and armed chaos,” Siam said Sunday in reference to Friday’s clashes in which 36 people were also wounded after the assassination of a militant commander.
“We are giving the security forces all the authority and power to investigate this ugly crime (the assassination of the militant commander) and also the three killings and other casualties that followed,” he said, referring to a commission of inquiry set up Friday night.
The umbrella group of Palestinian factions — the Committee of Islamic and National Forces — also called for an end to instability and armed chaos.
It condemned the war of words between rival groups that followed the murder of the military commander of the Popular Resistance Committees, Abu Yussef al-Gouga.
“We condemn the accusations being bandied about against different Palestinian groups and affirm our concern for Palestinian unity in confronting the occupation,” a statement said.
“We ask the interior ministry to investigate the killing and try those responsible as well as opening investigations into other assassinations and into collaborators.”
The mainstream Fatah movement of moderate Palestinian Authority president Mahmud Abbas, whose supporters clashed with militants of the Popular Resistance Committees Friday, expressed both concern for Palestinian unity and worry about the bloodshed, which it described as a “red line.”
“It is a red line for us. We will not allow anyone to touch it and to use it for his interest and party point of view,” a statement said.
“We confirm our commitment to supporting the Palestinian Authority and imposing the rule of law and back (prime minister Ismail) Haniya’s government in establishing a commission of inquiry into what happened in Gaza City.”
Friday’s deadly violence was the first major challenge faced by the new Hamas-led government since its inauguration two days earlier following its upset January election victory over Abbas’s Fatah.