Again Hamas-Fatah supporters clash. Yesterday, Hamas' supporters shoot the people who were at a mass rally to commemorate the three years that have elapsed since Yaser Arafat died.
Hamas security forces on Monday opened fire at a mass rally commemorating the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, violently dispersing the largest public display of support for the rival Fatah movement since Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in June.
Five people were killed and at least 31 were wounded, medical officials and Fatah said. Three of the wounded were critically injured, including a Hamas policeman who was shot in the head.
Meanwhile, lawmakers said Prime Minister Ehud Olmert disclosed plans to release more than 400 Palestinian prisoners in a goodwill gesture before a U.S.-sponsored peace conference later this month.
Olmert appeared before the committee to brief it on preparations for the peace summit, which is expected to take place at the end of November in Annapolis, Md. The meeting is meant to formally relaunch peace talks, which broke down in violence nearly seven years ago.
Monday's rally was Fatah's largest public gathering since Hamas overran the seaside strip in June, expelling the security forces of Fatah's leader, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
The moderate Abbas, who now rules out of the West Bank, has been using the third anniversary of Arafat's death to rally support on the Palestinian streets. Abbas hopes to isolate Hamas as he moves to relaunch peace talks with Israel at the U.S.-hosted Mideast conference.
BBC:Fatah members rounded up in Gaza — Hamas says it has rounded up dozens of Fatah activists in Gaza, a day after a huge rally commemorating Yasser Arafat ended in gunfire killing seven people. — Witnesses say security forces opened fire on unarmed crowds after the rally turned into a protest …
Mahmoud Abbas broke out the heavy-duty rhetoric in response to the massacre and stampede. He told Hamas that they were no better than the Israelis, comparing the assault with the "crimes of the Israeli occupier". Despite the unfairness of the comparison -- when have the Israelis fired into a peaceful protest? -- that has to sting Hamas' leadership.
Of course there is no worse insult than to be compared with the "Israeli occupier". Speaking of Israel, I'm sure Israelis are watching in bemused silence while the Palestinians demonstrate what they've been saying for years. And a note to Abbas, no one from Israel is "occupying" the Gaza strip but Palestinians.
More at Bloodthirsty Liberal.
An Oasis of Peace @ Chaim:
“The Israelis were more merciful than them,” she said of Hamas. “They beat children in front of my eyes.” Hmmmnnn… so… Hamas is more bloodthirsty than the dreaded Zionist Entitity? Oh, my! I have no doubt that as a certified, card carrying, member of the Self Hating Jews International Brotherhood Gideon Levy will find just the angle to glorify Hamas in this mess. I, furthermore, have no doubt that the left ist French press will continue to regale us with further accounts of Hamas benevolence, even if the average Palestinian on the street will say: “The Israelis were more merciful than them”
Palestinians carrying a wounded Fatah supporter during clashes with Hamas security forces at the rally in honor of Yasser Arafat in Gaza City on Monday.
(Khalil Hamra/The Associated Press in: The International Herald Tribune)Samuel
RAMALLAH, West Bank - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas dedicated Yasser Arafat's sleek new mausoleum in a ceremony Saturday, drawing on his predecessor's continued popularity as he heads into peace negotiations with Israel.
Abbas aides, meanwhile, reported new difficulties in preparations for the U.S.-hosted Mideast conference later this month. Abbas called U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to complain that Israel had backed away from a promise to accept U.S. monitoring of its initial peace obligations, officials said. Israel declined to comment.
Después de que ayer militantes de Hamas dispararan indiscriminadamente a la gente que iba en una marcha recordando la muerte de Yasir Arafat (se celebran ahora tres años desde que murió), hoy Hamas ha detenido a 400 miembros de Al-Fatah:
Agentes de Policía vinculados a la organización terrorista Hamas han lanzado redadas en la franja de Gaza –que controlan desde junio pasado– y han detenido a más de cuatrocientos miembros de Al-Fatah, horas después de los enfrentamientos que dejaron siete muertos y más de cien heridos en el multitudinario homenaje a Yaser Arafat.
Hazem Abu Shanab, portavoz de Al-Fatah en la franja, dijo que las redadas fueron realizadas durante la madrugada de este martes y casi al amanecer, horas después de los enfrentamientos armados que tuvieron lugar al concluir ese acto, que contó con cientos de miles de participantes. Abú Shanab afirmó que "los arrestos y la muerte de miembros de Al-Fatah no cambiarán la actitud del movimiento al defender sus posiciones. La gran cantidad de gente que se sumó al mitin y a la huelga de hoy (por este martes) son una señal del gran apoyo".
Lo "mejor" es que Abbas, por un lado, ha dicho que Hamas "no es mejor que el ejército de oposición israelí" -lo que ha tenido que sentar muy mal, con independencia de la evidente mala baba porque Israel nunca ha disparado indiscriminadamente contra manifestantes-, y luego ha llamado a EEUU para acusar a Israel de no aceptar la monitorización de las obligaciones de paz, en relación a la futura cumbre de Annapolis (sobre la cumbre podeis leer a Cruzcampo y a Rabbateur).