Gaza poster depicting hanging of PA President Mahmoud Abbas.
(photo credit: HAMAS MEDIA)
Hamas's Interior Ministry blamed the rival Palestinian Authority on Saturday for a series of violent incidents that have rocked the beleaguered coastal strip, AFP reported on Saturday.
Hamas representative Iyad al-Bozum put the onus for the attacks on "members of the former security establishment in Gaza" who he said are "exploiting the difficult conditions, especially since the last war, to spread chaos and confusion with explosions, car burnings an shooting."
Gaza's 'difficult conditions' have only worsened since the 'last war', the summer ground operation dubbed "Operation Defensive Edge" during which the Hamas clashed with Israeli forces.
But the PA, whose members have also been targeted by bombs and bullets, has outwardly denied Hamas's accusations on its official news agency, WAFA.
"Hamas lies", Fatah spokesman Usama al-Qawasmi said. "Everyone knows it imposes its will by force."
The PA, headed by Mahmoud Abbas, has in effect been exiled from Gaza since its own confrontation with Hamas in 2007 and has been fending off and cracking down on popular support for the Islamist organization in the West Bank where Abbas still rules.
Last spring Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation deal, part of an initiative to form a unity government, but the two adversaries have bickered over loyalties and the deal has been ridden with bad-faith.
Bozum said that the PA is “spreading chaos in Gaza in order to cover up the government's failure and absolve him [Abbas] from any responsibility.”
According to the Interior Ministry, several suspects have been arrested with audio and video of their interrogations made available to the press despite poor quality.