Dozens of Palestinian gunmen stormed several government offices and briefly took over one of the buildings Saturday, demanding jobs, security officials and witnesses said.
The armed men fired in the air, burned tires and blocked the main road of the town during the takeover. It was the latest sign of growing lawlessness in Gaza and the challenge being mounted to the leadership of Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
Abu Iyad, the leader of the gunmen, who are affiliated with Abbas' Fatah party, said the takeover was a message to the Fatah leadership and part of "a series of protest steps" against its employment policies.
"This is a message to Abu Mazen to take an immediate decision to employ the brothers like they did in other cases. In the case they don't, we will escalate our protests," he said.