Gaza appeared to be on the threshold of another coup on Monday, just six months after the Hamas terrorist organization seized outright control of the territory from Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority.
Marking the three-year anniversary of Yasser Arafat's death, some 100,000 Gaza residents loyal to Fatah attended a rally in downtown Gaza City. While unarmed, the demonstrators made a point of provoking their Hamas rivals with chants deriding the Islamist group and hurling stones at buildings used by Hamas security forces.
Claiming that the stone throwing was an unacceptable display of violence, Hamas soldiers showed up in force and opened fire on the gathering, killing six and wounding more than 100 others.
Israeli analysts said that the incident was evidence that Hamas is losing its grip on Gaza, which the group has failed to effectively govern as it focuses nearly all its resources on building a fighting force to confront Israel. Monday's event also showed that Abbas' Fatah maintains a strong support base in Gaza.