Fatah Gunmen Storm Meeting, Challenge Abbas
Gunmen from the ruling Palestinian Fatah faction broke up a meeting of the party about reform on Thursday in a fresh blow to President Mahmoud Abbas’s bid to end internal chaos and talk peace with Israel. Some 30 militants from the al-Aqsa Matryrs Brigades group within Fatah, firing assault rifles in the air, stormed the meeting and drove out hundreds of Fatah members, threatening to kill them, smashed windows and chairs before themselves leaving.
There were no casualties in the incident in the West Bank city of Ramallah witnessed by a Reuters reporter. The gunmen complained they had not been invited to the meeting and were being marginalized by the Fatah leadership. “We will not allow anyone to ignore us because we have paid with blood in this conflict (with Israel),” one gunman shouted.
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