Hamas' violent dispersal of a mass Fatah rally in Gaza on Monday was a "heinous crime," Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's office said.
"This heinous crime is decisive evidence that the coup leadership of Hamas is out of step with the national values and customs and is using blind force and the most bloody and brutal techniques against our people in Gaza," said a statement by Abbas' office. Abbas is currently in Egypt.
More than 250,000 supporters of Abbas' Fatah movement attended the Gaza City rally to mark the third anniversary of the death of iconic Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Toward the end, violence erupted and five people were killed. Participants said Hamas police opened fire on the crowd, while Hamas claimed its forces first came under fire from Fatah gunmen posted on rooftops.
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