Unknown gunman fires at senior Fatah chief’s automotive in Gaza, no accidents reported

GAZA, March 8 (Xinhua) — An unknown gunman opened fire on Friday night at the car of a senior leader in Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement in central Gaza Strip, according to security officials.

The security officials said that the gunman opened fire at the vehicle of Ahmad Helles as he was with bodyguards in the town of Deir el-Ballah in central Gaza Strip, adding that the gunman fled the scene.

The officials added that one of the gunshots hit the front part of the vehicle, but no injuries were reported. Helles is a member in the Central Committee of Fatah movement, chaired by Abbas.

Fatah condemned in a press statement the shooting attack as “a coward criminal action.”

The statement called on Islamic Hamas movement, which has been ruling the Gaza Strip since 2007, “to bear responsibility towards this action because it is the de facto power that controls everything in the Gaza Strip.”

Fatah statement warned of targeting leaders and members of Fatah movement, adding “targeting our leaders and members would lead to bad consequences that would influence the civil peace and the entire internal relations.”

Meanwhile, Eyad al-Bozzom, spokesman of the Hamas-run ministry of interior, said in an emailed press statement that the security forces in Gaza opened an investigation after the shooting attack at Helles vehicle.

President Abbas also condemned the shooting attack as “a coward assassination attempt,” according to a report by the official Palestinian news agency (WAFA).

The report said Abbas reaffirmed his rejection “to the coward crime that represents a real danger to the national unity of our people, to the society peace and to our liberation program.”