A Palestinian broadcasting corporation said masked gunmen raided its studios in the Gaza Strip. Images circulating in the incident's aftermath Friday showed the TV station's Gaza headquarters strewn with shattered glass and destroyed equipment. The Interior Ministry, controlled by Gaza's Hamas rulers, said it is investigating the raid on the Palestinian Authority-run corporation.
Tensions have spiked recently between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement in the West Bank and Hamas, its bitter rival in Gaza. Hamas accuses Abbas of slashing salaries for civil servants in Gaza to pressure the movement into ceding control. Fatah also plans to defy a Hamas ban and celebrate its anniversary with an open-air rally Monday. The power struggle dates back to 2007, when Hamas took control of Gaza from Abbas's government.
In 2006, Hamas won the majority of votes in the parliamentary polls; however, the legislative process was disrupted after the Palestinian rift in 2007 when Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip. Since then, there has been a rift between Hamas and Abbas' Fatah group despite mediation efforts for rapprochement. Although Palestinian Basic Law calls for holding parliamentary elections every four years, no vote has been held since 2006.