The Bethlehem-based, independent Ma'an news agency in Arabic reported on 16 May at 2101 gmt: "The Hamas movement has stated that the attempt to depict the current events in Gaza as inter-Palestinian fighting between Fatah and Hamas is a mere attempt to mislead local and international public opinion."
The report added: "In a statement it released, a copy of which has been obtained by Ma'an, Hamas said: 'What is taking place is a rebellion of a number of security commanders and groups that are affiliated with the Fatah coupist current against the government and against last week's agreements between President Abu-Mazin [Mahmud Abbas] and the Prime Minister to the effect of carrying out a number of changes within the security establishment - that is, to reconstruct the security establishment according to national principles'."
The report further cited the Hamas statement as noting that the movement had informed "many parties" - such as the Egyptian leadership and President Abbas - in advance of "that current's military build-up and preparations."
The statement added: "Until this very moment Hamas has not taken any decision to fend off these executions and assaults which have targeted Hamas's sons and exhausted citizens."
Source: Ma'an News Agency website, Bethlehem, in Arabic 2101 gmt 16 May 07