Gunmen take over Gaza election office

About two dozen masked Palestinian gunmen took over on Wednesday election offices in the Gaza town of Khan Younis, trying to prevent the ruling Fatah party from registering a new list of candidates for January parliamentary elections, witnesses and officials said. Gunmen had also surrounded an election office in the town of Rafah, and were trying to enter it. The gunmen are opposed to the registration of a new Fatah list topped by imprisoned uprising leader Marwan Barghouti. On Tuesday, dozens of Fatah activists raided the offices of the elections commission near Jerusalem, demanding that PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas include candidates from the city in the first ten slots of the Fatah list for the elections. Earlier, disgruntled Fatah gunmen briefly occupied three government buildings in the town of Bet Lahyia in the northern Gaza Strip to demand jobs.