Abbas, Dahlan loyalists clash at Gaza‘s Al-Azhar University

Students at Al-Azhar University- Gaza (AUG) in the Gaza Strip on Monday tore posters of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, whom they accused of imposing sanctions against the Palestinians living in the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave.

The incident, according to Palestinian sources, occurred during a clash between Abbas loyalists and supporters of , the deposed senior Fatah official and arch-rival of the PA president.

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It was not immediately clear what triggered the clashes, which have become common in several places in the Gaza Strip in the past few years.

Dr. Naji Shukri, a Palestinian academic and writer from the Gaza Strip, said the recurring clashes between the rival parties reflected the “deep crisis” in Abbas’s Fatah faction. “The fact that everyone is ignoring this crisis is harmful to the Palestinian national interests, and serves as a distraction for Fatah from carrying out its national duties.”

Some of the AUG students said they were protesting Abbas’s sanctions on the Gaza Strip when they were assaulted by other students who are affiliated with the PA president.

A source in the university said the violence erupted during a ceremony to welcome high school students who had enrolled in the university for the next academic year.

AUG, which was founded in 1991, has more than 15,000 students in 12 faculties, including medicine and pharmacy.