RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Fatah central committee member Sultan Abu Al-Einen labeled Hamas a "mongol" group in its "attack" on Fatah members in Gaza, and said the movement has turned into "border guards for the occupation."
Abu al-Einen said that Hamas attacked a ceremony eulogizing Ahmad Mfarreg, who was killed by Israeli forces in 2003, and continuously arrests Fatah and other factional leaders that try to carry out attacks against Israel.
"It’s shameful for Hamas to raid the ceremony, arrest and injure dozens of Fatah leaders and members," he said.
"The continuation of Hamas’ attacks means that its insistence on the historic ways of the Muslim Brotherhood in backstabbing," he added while asking Hamas to be more on the "Palestinian side" than that of the Brotherhood.
"Hamas is not ashamed to send a message through these attacks to kill what’s left of hope in our people, and perform a free, or maybe paid service for the occupation."
Earlier, the Gaza Strip ministry of interior responded to reports of police brutality against a Fatah event in the Hamas-run coastal enclave by accusing activists of holding the ceremony unlicensed, stressing that "nobody can be above the law."
"A group of Fatah supporters organized an activity in Khan Younis without contacting police for approval, and that is a breach of the law and obvious attempt to bring security chaos back," said Hamas official Iyad al-Buzm.
Al-Buzm said that Fatah supporters had "attacked police officers who arrived to enforce the law."
The comments came in response to officials from the rival Fatah movement, who accused police of assaulting Fatah supporters during an activity in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip on Saturday evening.
A spokesperson for the Fatah movement accused the Hamas-affiliated security services in Gaza of detaining dozens of Fatah supporters "for no reason" during the ceremony, which was held to commemorate "martyrs who fell during the Intifada."
Spokesman for the interior ministry Islam Shahwan, however, said that "around 20 people were detained and later released after signing a document not to take part in unauthorized meetings."
A public information officer in the ministry of interior said that event was organized without consulting police for approval.
The accusations signal a potential slow-down in the national reconciliation process between the two rival Palestinian political parties, who have been working publicly toward rapprochement in recent months.
The parties have been on cold terms since 2006, when Hamas won the Palestinian legislative elections.
In the following year, clashes erupted between Fatah and Hamas, leaving Hamas in control of the Strip and Fatah in control of the West Bank.
The groups have made failed attempts at national reconciliation for years, most recently in 2012, when they signed two agreements -- one in Cairo and a subsequent one in Doha -- which have as of yet been entirely unimplemented.