Islamist Hamas won parliamentary elections in 2006 against Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s more moderate Fatah. A year later, Hamas violently gained sole control of the Gaza Strip. Since Hamas came to power, there have been de facto two separate governments – one in Gaza and one in Ramallah. Since the beginning of the fratricide war between the two rival Palestinian organizations, no new parliamentary or presidential elections have been held. The Legislative Council has not met since Hamas came to power in Gaza in June 2007. In late 2018, Abbas announced its dissolution. The parliament building in Gaza was used only by representatives of Hamas.
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant had earlier announced that the Islamist Palestinian organization Hamas had “lost control” in the Gaza Strip. Hamas fighters are in the process of fleeing to the south of the Palestinian territories and civilians are looting Hamas targets, Gallant said in a video broadcast by Israeli television stations on Monday. The civilian population in the Gaza Strip no longer trusts the Hamas government.
According to the Israeli army, about 21 terrorists were killed in the fighting near Al-Quds Hospital. Militants fired two rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire at Israeli soldiers from the hospital entrance area in Gaza, the army said on Monday. The attackers mixed with a group of civilians. The soldiers retaliated and the Air Force also supported them.
Other terrorists came from neighboring buildings, also mingled with civilians and fired at the soldiers. After the firefight, the attackers with rocket-propelled grenades hid back in the hospital. About 21 terrorists were killed during the battle. There was no loss to the Israeli army. One tank was damaged.
“This incident is another example of Hamas’s continued misuse of civilian structures, including hospitals, to carry out attacks,” the army said. With 700 beds, the hospital is the main clinical campus in the Gaza Strip and provides emergency and surgical care. Israel has accused Hamas of using the hospital as a command and control center.