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Hamas Supporters Rally in Palestinian Territories


Thousands of Palestinians demonstrated Tuesday outside parliament buildings in Gaza City and the West Bank city of Ramallah, condemning violent attacks against the Hamas-led government by other Palestinians.

Pro-Hamas demonstrators threatened retaliate against rivals from the Fatah organization, whose members dominate the Palestinian Authority's security forces. Fatah activists are blamed for setting fire to Hamas leader and Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh's West Bank offices and other government buildings on Monday.

Masked gunmen in Ramallah also kidnapped a Hamas member of parliament, Khalil al-Rabaei.

No casualties have been reported since Monday's incidents. Mr. Haniyeh is unable to use his Ramallah office, because Israeli travel restrictions bar him from leaving Gaza.

Tensions between Hamas activists and Palestinian security forces have escalated since Mr. Abbas' recent call for a referendum on Palestinian statehood that implicitly recognizes Israel. Hamas, which is pledged to Israel's destruction, strongly opposes such a vote.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.
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