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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Service for Arafat Sees 5 Killed

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip -- Hamas security forces on Monday opened fire during a mass memorial service for the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, forcing demonstrators to flee in panic during the largest show of force by the rival Fatah movement since Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in June.

At least five people were killed and 60 wounded, medical officials said, in the deadliest showdown in Gaza since Hamas' takeover.

Some 250,000 Fatah supporters joined Monday's rally in a major square of Gaza City. As gunshots broke out, protesters scrambled for cover and masked Hamas security men ran through the city streets firing weapons.

An eyewitness, identifying himself as Abu Samir, said Hamas men seemed to fire unprovoked. "I saw brutality. I saw gunmen shoot at people. I saw them catch a boy and beat him with a stick."

Hamas officials accused Fatah of provoking the violence. "Fatah is responsible for continued incitement against the Palestinian police, and there was a clear attempt to bring back chaos," said Ehab Ghussen, spokesman for the Hamas-controlled Interior Ministry.

The Gaza takeover has left the Palestinians with two rival governments --Hamas' regime in Gaza, and a moderate government led by President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank.

Israel and the international community have welcomed Abbas' pro-Western government, while driving the Hamas government into deep isolation.