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Carter blasts US policy on Palestinians (AP)

Former US President Jimmy Carter speaks during the ninth annual NGO Forum on Human Rights, at Croke Park conference centre, Dublin. Tuesday June 19, 2007.  Carter said Tuesday that Ireland is the strongest voice for human rights within the EU. (AP Photo/ Aidan Crawley, PA)AP – Former President Jimmy Carter accused the U.S., Israel and the European Union on Tuesday of seeking to divide the Palestinian people by reopening aid to President Mahmoud Abbas’ new government in the West Bank while denying the same to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

Carter, a Nobel Peace Prize winner who was addressing a human rights conference in Ireland, also said the Bush administration’s refusal to accept Hamas‘ 2006 election victory was “criminal.”

Carter said Hamas, besides winning a fair and democratic mandate that should have entitled it to lead the Palestinian government, had proven itself to be far more organized in its political and military showdowns with Abbas’ moderate Fatah movement. 😦

Hamas fighters routed Fatah in their violent takeover of the Gaza Strip last week. The split prompted Abbas to dissolve the power-sharing government with his rivals in Hamas and set up a Fatah-led administration to govern the West Bank.

Of course, he would like much better to finance Hamas, wouldn’t you, Dhimmi Carter? Why doesn’t he critisize also EU, which has had the same treatment of the situation?

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I wrote some days ago about the possibility of Hamas imposing Sharia Law and how it was feared both by Israelis and Palestinians. Well, it is happening just now:

WorldNetDaily: Christians warned: Accept Islamic law

Christians can continue living safely in the Gaza Strip only if they accept Islamic law, including a ban on alcohol and on women roaming publicly without proper head coverings, an Islamist militant leader in Gaza told WND in an exclusive interview.

The militant leader said Christians in Gaza who engage in “missionary activity” will be “dealt with harshly.”

The threats come two days after a church and Christian school in Gaza was attacked following the seizure of power in the territory by the Hamas terror group.

“I expect our Christian neighbors to understand the new Hamas rule means real changes. They must be ready for Islamic rule if they want to live in peace in Gaza,” said Sheik Abu Saqer, leader of Jihadia Salafiya, an Islamic outreach movement that recently announced the opening of a “military wing” to enforce Muslim law in Gaza.

Jihadia Salafiya is suspected of attacking a United Nations school in Gaza last month, after the school allowed boys and girls to participate in the same sporting event. One person was killed in that attack.

“The situation has now changed 180 degrees in Gaza,” said Abu Saqer, speaking from Gaza yesterday.

“Jihadia Salafiya and other Islamic movements will ensure Christian schools and institutions show publicly what they are teaching to be sure they are not carrying out missionary activity. No more alcohol on the streets. All women, including non-Muslims, need to understand they must be covered at all times while in public,” Abu Asqer told WND.

“Also the activities of Internet cafes, pool halls and bars must be stopped,” he said. “If it goes on, we’ll attack these things very harshly.”

Abu Saqer accused the leadership of the Gaza Christian community of “proselytizing and trying to convert Muslims with funding from American evangelicals.”

Read all…

Anyway, West offers cash and talks to keep Abbas in charge as partner for peace-News-World-Middle East-TimesOnline

America and the European Union moved swiftly to shore up Palestinian moderates yesterday, releasing millions of dollars for the new Government based in the West Bank.

Washington and Brussels announced the lifting of economic sanctions after Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian President, sacked all members of Hamas, the militant Islamic group, which staged last week’s bloody takeover of the Gaza Strip. In a telephone call yesterday President Bush told Mr Abbas that the US would support “Palestinian moderates”.

Later Condoleezza Rice, the US Secretary of State, reaffirmed America’s commitment to the “two-state solution” for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, first promised by Mr Bush five years ago. Palestinians faced a choice, she said, between pursuing more violence or peace and a better life.

The US has recognised Mr Abbas and his new Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, as the legitimate leaders of the West Bank and Gaza. Dr Rice promised yesterday that this meant the US would resume normal “government-to-government contacts”.

And from Infidel Bloggers Alliance: Stupid request of the day:

B’Tselem demands that perpetrators of war crimes in Gaza be tried and warns against revenge attacks in the West Bank
The Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem today calls on the Palestinian leadership of Hamas in the Gaza Strip to investigate all war crimes that may have been committed during the clashes in the Gaza Strip, and to bring all suspects to criminal trial.

This happens as Abbas’ aide Yasser Abed accused Iran of being responsible of fomenting the Hamas seizure in Gaza. h/t Desde el Exilio.

UPDATE: GayandRight: Christians under attach in Gaza… Who is going to defend this people??

Father Manuel Musalam, leader of the small Latin community in the Gaza Strip, said masked gunmen torched and looted the Rosary Sisters School and the Latin Church.

The masked gunmen used rocket-propelled grenades to storm the main entrances of the school and church,” he said. “Then they destroyed almost everything inside, including the Cross, the Holy
Book, computers and other equipment
.”

Musalam expressed outrage over the burning of copies of the Bible, noting that the gunmen destroyed all the Crosses inside the church and school. “Those who did these awful things have no respect for Christian-Muslim relations,” he said.

When are going to be the next outraged Christian riots when we will burn Hamas flag? 😦 This is despicable…

(Reuters) – Israel plans to tighten a financial clampdown on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip that would choke off all but humanitarian and basic supplies, senior Israeli and Western officials said on Tuesday.
While opening the funding taps to the Western-backed emergency government set up by President Mahmoud Abbas in the occupied West Bank,
Israel and the United States want to isolate Hamas financially, diplomatically and militarily in the Gaza Strip, which the Islamist group seized by force last week.
To that end, two senior Israeli officials said the plan was to bar Palestinian tax funds transferred to Abbas from reaching Gaza to run Hamas-led agencies and pay workers.
Gaza is a terrorist-controlled entity now,” said one of the Israeli officials, who is working with U.S. officials to isolate Hamas. “No financial assistance can go to any entity or person with connections to the Hamas-run administration in Gaza.”

The humanitarian crisis is going to be outstanding. After last year 14.000 Palestinians flee, now Gazans stream to crossing with Israel – Yahoo! News

Hundreds of terrified Gazans fleeing Hamas rule were trapped at a main crossing with Israel on Tuesday, hoping to gain permission to pass through Israeli territory to sanctuary in the West Bank.

Fearing death or persecution, Gazans began flocking to the Erez passage after Hamas militants wrested control of the coastal strip from Fatah security forces late last week. Israel, which has no interest in letting masses of Gazans pass through its territory and possibly destabilize the quieter West Bank, has refused to let most of them in, saying their lives were not in danger.
By Tuesday, about 600 people were holed up in the long, concrete tunnel that leads to the Israeli side of the crossing. Around 100 people belonged to Fatah security forces, but the rest were civilians, seeking a better life in the West Bank.
Women, children and young men sat between two high concrete walls about 10 yards apart, looking tired and sweaty. Suitcases and trash were strewn on the ground. Some families sat on mats, others on bare concrete. A breeze barely stirred between the walls, and the tunnel, which has no toilets, reeked of urine and sweat.
On Monday, gunmen allied with Hamas disguised themselves as fleeing civilians and hurled hand grenades at Israeli soldiers and Palestinians at Erez, killing a relative of a slain Fatah warlord, and injuring 15 other Palestinians.

UPDATE 3: More about Palestinians fleeing from Israel: My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Palestinians run as they try to cross to the Israel side at the Erez Crossing, in the northern Gaza Strip, Saturday, June 16, 2007. Dozens of Palestinians converged on the Erez crossing with Israel on Saturday, trying to leave the Gaza Strip following Hamas’ takeover. At the same time, hundreds of people looted police positions on the Palestinian side of Erez, and at one point Israeli troops fired in the air to keep the crowd at bay. The looters walked off with furniture and scrap metal. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

UPDATE 4: Also read Jules Crittenden’s “Enemy of my Enemy” h/t Abdul in Freedom’s Zone. Abdul writes:

Conveniently, the word Fatah (or Fath) was a specific label Muslims ascribed to the bloody and barbaric expansion of Islam by the sword over its first hundred years (Hmmmm – there’s aclue here somewhere as to their intentions). As an organization, Fatah is one of many borne out of the Muslim Brotherhood. Fatah logo contains two crossed assault rifles superimposed on the land of Israel covered in Islamic green. Qur’anic slogans on the graphic depiction of Fatah’s mission encourages jihad. These days, Fatah conducts its terrorist missions under the name al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades. As one writer phrases it, if Fatah was Nazism, al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades would be the SS. For those who have lived in a cave since WW-II, this is not something that denotes love and kindness, and tolerance of Jews and infidels that don’t follow the radical line.

UPDATE 5: Don’t laugh: Catholic World News : Gaza convent sacked; Hamas condemns action

Gaza, Jun. 19, 2007 (CWNews.com) – On June 14, a school administered by the Sisters of the Holy Rosary was demolished in the Gaza Strip. In the chapel adjoining the sisters’ convent, the crucifix and a statue of Christ were broken and prayer books burned.

Father Manuel Mussallam, the only Catholic priest currently living in Gaza, denounced the sacking of the school and convent, describing it to AsiaNews as a “barbaric act.” The incident occurred during the course of fighting between two Palestinian factions: al Fatah and Hamas.

Although the school and convent are located near a police station, a spokesman for Hamas– which now controls the Gaza Strip– said that the group was not responsible for the violence against the Catholic nuns. Salah Bardawil said: “The Christians are our brothers in Gaza and everywhere, and we will protect their holy places and school, as we do our Islamic schools.”

We will protect every Christian in the earth the moment they submit. In the meantime, we will ransack their places… to remind them who is in charge…

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h/t Confessions of a Closet Republican.

Also read the Project of the Muslim Brotherhood h/t Desde el Exilio and the Turkish Islamist party’s project for Europe h/t Free Thoughts.

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After considering the state in which some political prisoners are in Cuba (for example, this same week we have known about Guido Sigler Amaya’s condition which is very grave but does not have any kind of medical support), we have known today that:

  1. European Union FM are asking to renew the dialogue with Cuba. Only United Kingdom, the Checz Republic, Ireland or Belgium have opposed to it. In the text they include in the dialogue, subjects like political sphere, human rights, economical, scientific and cultural questions and “the support for a peaceful transition in Cuba“. They also maintain that the mutual relationship should be based on “reciprocity and no-discrimination“. Now, can someone tell me how on earth Europe was discriminating Cuba before? Not maintaining good relations with a dictator is not discriminating, it’s just a way to tell the world you oppose him firmly.
  2. Contrary to all the promises of reform issued last year, the proposal released today by Council President Luis Alfonso de Alba targets Israel for permanent indictment under a special agenda item: “Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories,” which includes “Human rights violations and implications of the Israeli occupation of Palestine and other occupied Arab territories”; and “Right to self-determination of the Palestinian people.” No other situation in the world is singled out — not genocide in Sudan, not child slavery in China, nor the persecution of democracy dissidents in Egypt and elsewhere. Moreover, the council will entrench its one-sided investigative mandate of “Israeli violations of international law”—the only one not subject to regular review after a set term—by renewing it “until the end of the occupation.” To sum up, the UN Human Rights Council is going to punish Israel but not Belarus, Cuba, China or Iran.

My question is: what do these organizations, which supposedly are fighting for Human Rights, do to really support them?

I answer: nothing. They are only bashing democracies, where they know their pathetic speeches can have some effect in part of the population. But not doing so against the dictatorships where they are not going to receive anything but disdain and reproaches. And we do not want that from China, Saudi Arabia, Cuba or Iran, do we?

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Uff, it’s too early, isn’t it? But, of course, do they need an excuse?

EU to Resume Direct Aid – Wall Street Journal

Telegraph.co.uk

EU to Resume Direct Aid

Wall Street Journal – 21 minutes ago

AP LUXEMBOURG — The European Union said Monday it will resume direct aid to the new Palestinian government of Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and it urged Israel to restore the transfer of tax revenue to his West Bank administration.

Israel is already giving aid to Hamas’ Gaza, and USA has promised to do so, IF Palestinian Government parts away from Hamas…

Weep for Gaza Los Angeles Times

EU resumes aid to Palestinian Government Times Online

The European Union is to resume direct financial aid to the Palestinian Authority for the first time in 18 months in a bid to prop up the new government in the West Bank.

Javier Solana, the bloc’s foreign policy chief, said today that the move would send a message of support to the embattled President, Mahmoud Abbas, of the secular Fatah party, who sacked Hamas after the Islamists’ military takeover of the Gaza Strip.

Mr Abbas dismissed the fundamentalists’ leader Ismail Haniya as Prime Minister and appointed Salam Fayad, a political moderate, to the post at the end of last week. Hamas, however, has denounced his decision as a “coup” and announced that it would not recognise the administration.

The West has boycotted the Palestinian Government since Hamas was elected to power in January last year. The Islamists have rejected calls to recognise neighbouring Israel’s right to exist, renounce terrorism, and acknowledge previously signed interim peace agreements.

Mr Solana announced the intention to end the boycott as he spoke to reporters before a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg.

“There will be a direct relationship, economically also with the Government,” he said. “There will be a part of the money that will be direct.”

The EU foreign policy chief added that the bloc had confidence in Mr Fayyad, the US-trained economist and former Palestinian Finance Minister, to handle the funds.

No doubt, part of it will go through the account that, when he was Minister of Finance, he had established and he will have kept as Prime Minister, so it will be a direct relationship with the Government,” Mr Solana said.

Despite refusing to have any dealings with Hamas, Mr Solana confirmed that the EU would also try to find a way to provide humanitarian aid to increasingly impoverished 1.4 million residents of the Gaza Strip, who have been largely cut off from the outside world since the Islamists seized power in a volley of gun battles which killed more than 100 mostly Fatah-affiliated fighters last week.

Marvellous…


BBC NEWS | Middle East | Key powers back Abbas government

Key powers back Abbas government

Key international powers have publicly backed the new Palestinian Authority government, offering aid and support to an administration without Hamas.

US President Bush phoned Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas pledging to work with his new government, aides said.

The EU said it would “immediately” normalise ties with the government and also resume direct aid, while Israel said the new cabinet was a “partner”.

Mr Abbas sacked the previous government after Hamas seized control of Gaza.

In a separate development on Monday, one Palestinian was killed and several injured after Palestinian gunmen and Israeli soldiers exchanges of fire at the Erez crossing, the Israeli rescue service and Palestinian medics said.

The crossing is the main point for people travelling between Israel and Gaza.

‘Genuine partner’

In a 15-minute phone call with Mr Bush, Mr Abbas told the US president that the time was now right to push for new peace talks.

The US Consul-General in Jerusalem, Jacob Walles, met the new Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on Monday to explain how the US could offer practical support to the new administration.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who is to meet Mr Bush in Washington on Tuesday, said he considered the new Palestinian government a “genuine partner”.

And speaking at an EU meeting in Luxembourg, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni confirmed that up to $800m (£400m) of frozen tax revenues held by Israel would now be transferred to the Palestinian Authority.

“We are willing to work with those who support the two-state solution -those who understand and accept the right of Israel to exist,” she said.

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 What is going on here?

JERUSALEM – Two Katyusha rockets fell on northern Israel Sunday, the first fired from Lebanon since last summer’s inconclusive war with Hezbollah guerrillas. No one was hurt, but there was some damage, police and the military said.

Hezbollah denied firing the rockets in a broadcast on the militant group’s Al-Manar television.

The attack raised the possibility of Israeli reprisal and a new flareup between the two countries. It came as Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was arriving in the United States for talks.

“Israel will not succumb to this provocation but will monitor the situation carefully,” said an official with Olmert, indicating that Israel would not hit back. The official requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

There was no immediate comment from the Lebanese government.

2 rockets fired at Israel from Lebanon – Yahoo! News

And Pope calls for Middle East peace effort
Times of India – 52 minutes ago
ASSISI (Italy): Pope Benedict XVI called for greater peace efforts across the Middle East on Sunday, using the occasion of a pilgrimage to Assisi to highlight the urgent need for greater dialogue.

“The populations of these countries have known for too long the horrors of combat, of terrorism, of blind violence, the illusion that force can resolve conflicts, the refusal to listen to the reasons of the other and to bring him justice,” Pope Benedict said.
His comments came with no end in sight of years of bloodletting in Iraq and as violence between the rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah engulfed the Gaza Strip.
“Only a responsible and sincere dialogue, supported by the full backing of the international community, can put an end to so much sadness and give life and dignity to individuals, to institutions and to peoples,” the Pope said.
The pontiff, speaking in Assisi- where John Paul II launched in October 1986 the first day of prayer for world peace- renewed the late Pope’s call, addressing all religions.
“From this town of peace, I want to pay respect to the representatives of other Christian denominations and to other religions,” he said.
“I consider it my duty to launch an urgent and sorrowful appeal to put an end to all the armed conflicts which are bloodying the earth, to silence the weapons and for hate to yield everywhere to love, offense to forgiveness, and discord to union.

Pope Benedict makes pilgrimage to Assisi Canada.com
Pope Benedict Makes Pilgrimage to Assisi FOX News
Reuters – International Herald Tribune – PR-Inside.com (Pressemitteilung) – NDTV.com
all 157 news articles »

The problem with dialogue is: are terrorists are their supporters willing to submit to the results of dialogue? I do not see Hamas fighters-militants-resistants-insurgents-terrorists very inclined to that, after winning. And I do not see also Al-Fatah because now they would want revenge.

UPDATE:

From Christian Science Monitor:

As Gaza unravels, Palestinians flee

Thousands have already left the coastal strip because of its social and economic degradation.

Jerusalem – By the time the Islamic militant group Hamas declared victory in Gaza Thursday, thousands of Palestinians had already fled the coastal strip.

Recent figures collected by European monitors at Rafah, the crossing into Egypt, show that some 14,000 Palestinians have left Gaza in the past year, driven by a combination of political insecurity and economic strain.

Now, the violence between the two main Palestinian factions, which began to escalate Saturday and turned into brutal street warfare early this week, is driving even more Gazans to find a way out.

And thanks to Lord Nazh, who has given me a tip about Lebanon-Israeli fire:

(more…)

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Continuing with the Palestinian Civil War Watch, we have now that the NYT has written that some Palestinians are considering that “the only thing that prevents the chaos and turmoil in Gaza from spreading to the West Bank is the presence of the Israeli occupation“.

I have found it there: you should read all the post at Lamplighter: Palestinians What Anyone But Palestinians To Govern

Recently, a few Palestinian columnists have broken a political taboo by referring to the Israeli occupation as perhaps preferable to the current chaos.For example, Majed Azzam wrote in the Hamas-affiliated weekly Al Risala in Gaza that Palestinians “should have the courage to acknowledge the truth,” that the only thing that “prevents the chaos and turmoil in Gaza from spreading to the West Bank is the presence of the Israeli occupation.”

Another Palestinian writer, Bassem al-Nabris, a poet from Khan Yunis, in the Gaza Strip, wrote in the Arabic electronic newspaper Elaph that if there was a referendum in the Gaza Strip on the question of whether people would like the Israeli occupation to return, “half the population would vote ‘yes.’ But in practice,” he continued, “I believe that the number of those in favor is at least 70 percent, if not more.”

“If the occupation returns,” Mr. Nabris added, “at least there will be no civil war, and the occupier will have a moral and legal obligation to provide the occupied people with employment and food, which they now lack.”

Whatever the Palestinian FM says about the strugglebeing a result of pressures imposed from outside forces“.UPDATE 1: Hamas: “the era of Islamic rule has arrived”: Hamas supporters have executed people in the streets as last Fatah stronghold falls. More at Gateway Pundit. Hmm, marvellous… 😦

Now we can wonder what these peaceful militants-resistants-insurgents would do with Israelis…

Hamas militants take a vehicle and weapons from the headquarters of the security forces loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas after blowing them up in the southern Gaza strip June 13, 2007. Hamas Islamist fighters appeared in command of much of the Gaza Strip on Wednesday after battering forces loyal to Western-backed Abbas. (REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)

UPDATE 2: More photos from the Jerusalem Post:

Hamas gunmen take positions outside the preventive security headquarters housing Fatah loyalist security forces in Gaza City, Thursday, June 14, 2007.
Photo: AP

A Palestinian woman holds a sign during a demonstration calling for the end of internal fighting between Fatah and Hamas.
Photo: AP

Jaafer Ashtiyeh/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Fatah gunmen covering their escape after they kidnapped seven employees from a Hamas-run TV station in Nablus, in the West Bank, on Wednesday.

UPDATE 3: Hamas Seizes Broad Control in Gaza Strip – New York Times

Mr. Abbas faces the collapse of Fatah power in Gaza and a putative Palestinian state divided into a West Bank run by Fatah and a Gaza run by Hamas. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel warned of “regional consequences” if Gaza fell under the complete control of Hamas, an Islamist movement that does not recognize Israel’s right to exist. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said Hamas control of Gaza would limit Israel’s ability to negotiate with Mr. Abbas, as Washington wants.

Hamas spokesmen said the movement had no political goal except to defend itself from a group within Fatah collaborating with Israel and the United States. They said they wanted to bring the security forces under the control of the unity government, in which Fatah agreed to play a part until the current fighting.Some Israeli security officials say Israel wants to see the West Bank isolated from Gaza, even more so with Hamas in control there. One official suggested that Hamas’s show of strength in Gaza would make it more likely that the Israeli military would intervene there this summer to cut back Hamas’s military power. The Israeli security services say Hamas, which is able to smuggle weapons and explosives from Egypt, is developing a sophisticated army on the model of Hezbollah in southern Lebanon.

The Foreign Ministry spokesman, Mark Regev, said Israel did not see “the implosion of the Palestinian Authority in anyone’s interest.” In Gaza, he added, “the clear strength that Hamas is demonstrating on the ground is a problem for us, and a challenge.”

It’s a problem for the Palestinians, too,” Mr. Regev said. “Our whole policy is to work with moderate pragmatic Palestinians who believe in peace, and Hamas hegemony in Gaza is not good for Israel, for the Palestinians or for peace.”

[Sorry, I have had to publish it again, because I had some problems with it…]

UPDATE 4: More about the Hamas’ new Islamist state: Gaza lurches towards Islamist mini-state-News-World-Middle East-TimesOnline

This is a victory for Islam and I hope we will build our Islamic state,” said Abu Qatada, a masked 22-year-old Hamas fighter, standing outside the smouldering ruin of the Fatah security base. “We must now complete the job,” he said.
In a symbolic moment, a large crowd of Gaza civilians demonstrating for an end to the internecine fighting came under fire from unidentified attackers who killed at least two marchers.
Political leaders of Fatah were also being hunted, and several hundred members of a Fatah-affiliated clan gave themselves up to Hamas militiamen after a deadly ambush. Fifty Fatah policemen crossed the border with Egypt and gave up their weapons to Egyptian troops after their positions came under Hamas rocket attacks.
The situation is very, very bad,” Maher Mekhdad, a high-ranking Fatah official in Gaza, told The Times by mobile phone after his well-defended house was overrun by Hamas gunmen. “Hamas is going for total control of all the Gaza Strip. They want to push us into oblivion.

Last forces of Al Fatah flee from Faza by sea.

The number of Al Fatah’s member who have flown from Gaza is about 300, because the main part of the security services personnel have already flown from Gaza and they are apparently going on fishing boats to the North, to take refuge in Israel, or to the South, to Egypt.
At the same time, Al Fatah’s sources this Thursday afternoon, that Islamist terrorists have murdered the “number one wanted” of this movement, Samih Al Madún,
32-years-old, in the Gaza’s Rimal quarter.

This is getting more worrying each time.

UPDATE 5Hamas plans to execute Fatah leaders.
Abbas sacks Hamas-led government:

Aides to Mr Abbas said he dismissed the Palestinian Prime Minister, Ismail Haniya of Hamas, and was preparing to appoint an independent as prime minister.

A little late…

UPDATE 6:

Iran and Syria are the real winners of the Hamas-Fatah war.

Hamas: we can prove Fatah links to CIA. Well, let’s see the documents.

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