Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Israel, Gaza & Hamas

HAMAS has overtaken Fatah in Gaza recently.

Hamas Cements Its Control Across Gaza

The Jerusalem Post
Hamas cemented its control across Gaza on Saturday. Former Palestinian Authority prime minister Ismail Haniyeh replaced Fatah-allied security commanders with his loyalists, and Hamas gunmen searched homes and neighborhoods to round up their opponents' weapons.

Two Fatah loyalists were killed by Hamas gunmen, in what Fatah alleged were revenge killings. Also, the bodies of seven Hamas members were found in the basement of the Preventive Security Service headquarters, a Fatah stronghold captured Thursday, and the bullet-riddled corpse of a Fatah field commander turned up in southern Gaza. More than 100 people were killed a week of clashes.

In the West Bank, Fatah gunmen attacked Hamas-run institutions, storming the parliament and several government ministries. Chanting "Hamas Out," they planted Fatah and Palestinian flags on rooftops. They attacked Deputy Parliament Speaker Hassan Kreisheh, an independent, but parliament employees prevented the assailants from grabbing him. The gunmen left after warning government workers that those with Hamas ties would not be allowed to return.

Hamas has not explained how it would run Gaza without foreign support or contact to the outside world. Israel controls Gaza's borders, wielding tremendous influence over the movement of people and goods in and out of the area. Dozens of Gazans converged on Gaza's Erez crossing with Israel in hopes of fleeing.

One man was carried on top of a luggage trolley with his leg bandaged. Hassan, 21, a presidential guard trainee, said he was shot in the fighting. He gave only his first name because he was afraid of retribution.

About 150 waited at the gate separating Gaza from Israel. Some carried large suitcases, others held tiny plastic bags. One young man shouted "bye, bye, Gaza," and waved as he walked through the covered walkway that leads to the Israeli side. IDF spokesman Shlomo Dror said only a few people, considered humanitarian cases, were allowed across.

[read article]


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