Government condemns assault on senior Fatah official in Gaza

RAMALLAH, The caretaker government of Rami Hamdallah condemned today what it described as the criminal assault against senior Fatah official and writer Atef Abu Saif, 46, in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Government spokesman Yousef al-Mahmoud stated in a press release that the assault committed by a criminal gang against Atef Abu Seif and journalists in the Gaza Strip reflects the worsening situation caused by the dark division.

Mahmoud held the parties that have refused to end the intra-Palestinian division and bring about the national reconciliation, in reference to the Hamas movement, fully responsible for this serious deterioration in Gaza.

He warned against the serious situation that threatens the lives Palestinians in the besieged coastal enclave that could have drastic consequences on the future of the Palestinian national project in light of the new colonialist schemes against the Palestinian people, territories, and history.

Fatah movement, which is headed by President Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate as well as the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) have all condemned the assault on Abu Saif, who is also Fatah spokesman in Gaza, that resulted in admitting him to hospital with serious cuts in the head and broken arm and leg after he was badly beaten yesterday by a group of gunmen while in a farm for a friend. The assailants stole his cellphone and car before leaving the area.

The attackers, who had clubs and guns, according to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), also attacked the owner of the farm, Abdul Hamid Jadallah, 58, who also required hospitalization.

The assault came amid mounting tensions in Gaza, especially following the popular protests against the dire living conditions and taxes in the enclave and Hamas crackdown on the protests.

Last week, another senior Fatah official identified as Ahmad Hillis survived an assassination attempt when gunmen opened fire at his vehicle in the central Gaza Strip.

Born in Jabalia refugee camp, Abu Seif is also a prominent writer who studied at Birzeit University and the University of Bradford before going on to obtain a Ph.D. from Florence’s European University Institute.

He has written a number of novels and short story collections, including his novel A Suspended Life (2014), which was shortlisted for the 2015 Arabic Booker Prize.

Abu Seif was also attacked in December of last year by two masked gunmen when he was in a car with a friend and was severely beaten causing him injuries in the head and bruises in his hands and feet.

Source: Palestinian News and Info Agency