The clashes came in the wake of PA interior minister Sa’eed Siyam’s orders to enforce discipline in the streets after the PA security elements, who receive orders from PA chief Mahmoud Abbas, organized violent demonstrations demanding payment of their arrear salaries. They received a one month salary a couple of days ago.
Khaled Abu Hilal, the interior ministry spokesman, told a press conference that the “unruly” security elements were smearing the image of Palestinian policemen through damaging citizens’ property and firing into the air a big number of bullets the price of which was enough to pay their salaries.
Abu Hilal charged foreign parties, which he did not name, of fueling such moves, adding that this ministry had acquired recorded material displaying the connivance of those involved in the riots.
He urged all parties to exercise self-restraint and not to be dragged by foreign parties that aim at igniting a civil war in the Palestinian arena.
Security elements have been organizing violent acts over the past few days in the Gaza Strip, closing main roads and torching tires other than assaulting the PA culture minister Dr. Attalla Abul Sabh.
Meanwhile, a website, affiliated with the Fatah Movement quoted sources in the PA presidency as saying that Abbas had ordered his forces to side with the rebels against the back-up force that was trying to restore law and order to the Gaza Streets.