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Gunmen in Gaza Kill Hamas-Linked Judge


Unidentified gunmen have shot and killed a Hamas-linked judge in the Gaza Strip, at a time of escalating tensions between Palestinian factions.

Hamas officials and witnesses say four gunmen dragged judge Bassam al-Farah out of a car and killed him outside a courthouse Wednesday in Khan Younis.

Tensions remain high in Gaza after the killing Monday of three sons of a senior security officer loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas of the Fatah movement.

Fatah officials blame Hamas for the deaths of the children. Hamas has denied the charge.

On the political front, Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas says Sudan has pledged $10 million in aid to the Hamas-led Palestinian government. Mr. Haniyeh made the announcement in Khartoum Wednesday after talks with Sudanese officials.

Mr. Haniyeh has been on a tour of Muslim nations to bolster support for the government. Earlier, he said Iran had pledged about $250 million in aid.

Western donors cut off aid to the Palestinian Authority when Hamas took power in March because of the militant group's refusal to renounce violence and recognize Israel.

Hamas and Fatah have been locked in a power struggle since Hamas won parliamentary elections in January.

Efforts by Hamas and Fatah to form a unity government have failed. Local media are saying the Palestinian president will announce new elections in a speech on Saturday. Hamas says Mr. Abbas lacks the power to dismiss parliament and call new elections.

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

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