GAZA,(Reuters) – Sixty gunmen from a faction linked to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas”s Fatah movement took over three government buildings in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday to demand jobs.
The protest in northern Gaza underscored growing lawlessness in Palestinian territories ahead of a Jan. 25 parliamentary election in which Fatah faces a strong challenge from Islamic militant group Hamas.
Abu Husam, a spokesman for the gunmen from the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades who commandeered the rooftops of a court, and an education and governor”s office in northern Gaza, said the Palestinian Authority had abandoned a promise to hire them.
Palestinian authorities initiated talks with the gunmen.
"We may be forced to take stronger steps such as burning these offices or kidnapping foreigners to grab the attention of officials," Abu Husam told Reuters.
Last week Palestinian gunmen held a Dutch and an Australian teacher for eight hours in Gaza, to press demands for the release of jailed militant leaders.
In a separate incident on Monday, gunmen from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestinian fired guns outside their offices in Gaza City on Tuesday in demand of salaries they said they were owed. There were no reported injuries.
Internal unrest has been growing in the Gaza Strip since Israeli troops withdrew in September after 38 years of occupation.