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13 Dec, 2006 10:05

Hamas judge killed in Gaza Strip

Hamas judge killed in Gaza Strip

Tension between rival Palestinian armed forces is mounting after gunmen shot dead a judge from the ruling Hamas party in southern Gaza. So far no one has claimed responsibility for the shooting which has increased fears of a Palestinian civil war.

Four Palestinian gunmen opened fire on the Hamas judge on Wednesday morning. He was pulled from his taxi and killed outside a courthouse in Gaza.

Hamas officials have put the blame on Fatah saying it is not only an attack against Hamas, but an attempt of war on law. They called for immediate investigation into the murder.

The incident follows the killing of three children of a senior Palestinian intelligence officer on Monday. It is unclear whether there is a link between these murders but it is known that Fatah leaders accused the judge of being involved in previous assassinations and attacks against Fatah members. So it is possible that Bassam al-Fara fell victim to revenge.

Recent months have seen increased recurrent clashes between the Hamas and Fatah groups.