Violence broke out today in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, as Hamas fighters fired into a crowd of hundreds of thousands at a memorial rally to Fatah founder Yasser Arafat, killing seven and wounding 150, the New York Times reports. Hamas and Fatah traded blame for the shooting, the bloodiest since Hamas took control of Gaza in June. One Hamas official said Fatah demonstrators provoked security forces by throwing rocks.
Others in Hamas told Reuters they had come under fire from Fatah. But Fatah said the sight alone of thousands of Fatah supporters made Hamas open fire. Opposition rallies have been banned in the strip, but Arafat's popularity prompted Hamas to allow the event. Earlier, Hamas security forces fired on a vehicle bringing people to the memorial, killing one, Fatah activists said.