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Hama, Fatah Fighting Continues With “Ceasefire”

From the Media Line:

Women Fired on in Gaza; Three-Point Cease-Fire Plan Unveiled

Written by Ashraf Shannon & The Media Line Staff
Tuesday, December 19, 2006

(Gaza City, Gaza) The violence in the Gaza Strip is intensifying, despite efforts by Hamas and Fatah leaders to rein in their armed wings. Egypt has proposed a mechanism for restoring calm, but that did not stop an escalation in fighting on Tuesday.

Hamas gunmen opened fire on a group of women and children to the north of Gaza City on Tuesday evening. Numerous women were wounded according to eyewitnesses.

The group was attempting to prevent Hamas fighters from breaking into Palestinian General Intelligence headquarters where Palestinian Authority armed personnel were holed up. The women and children were barred from advancing and then gunmen opened fire on them, eyewitnesses said.

At least seven people have been killed in the last two days, five of them on Tuesday.

A panel of security officials from Egypt met a team of Palestinian government staff on Tuesday evening in a bid to end the violence. The sides agreed a three point plan, Palestinian Interior Ministry spokesman Khalid Abu Hilal told The Media Line:

1) All armed forces return to their bases,
2) Release all those kidnapped and currently held by Palestinian factions; and
3) Create a joint committee of all armed forces to discuss a path out of the deadlock.

Residents of Jabaliyya, to the north of Gaza City, have fled their homes fearing they may become the next victims of mortar attacks by Hamas’ Executive Force. The force, established as a direct challenge to the official Palestinian security forces has been involved in heavy exchanges of gunfire with Palestinian intelligence officers in the area.

The violence reached a new peak on Tuesday morning when the street battles moved inside Gaza’s A-Shifa medical complex. Mortar shells were fired inside the hospital’s emergency room. A member of Hamas, Isma’il Abu Al-Kheir (25) was killed and 11 people were wounded during the battle.

Nine schoolchildren were wounded on Tuesday afternoon and two armed officers were killed. The dead men were loyal to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud ‘Abbas. The bodies of two intelligence officers were discovered in a dumpster after they had been kidnapped.

In a deal brokered on Monday night members of Fatah and Hamas were released having been kidnapped by the opposing forces. One of those captured was a former Fatah government minister, Sufyan Abu Zeida. The kidnapping took place after Fatah member ‘Adnan Rahmi was killed in the northern Gaza Strip. His corpse, which was buried near a Hamas headquarters, was dug out of its grave by Hamas members. They claimed the grave was dug inside the headquarters’ perimeter.

The recent escalation in the Palestinian arena began last Saturday, when ‘Abbas called for an early election. The Hamas government claimed the call was unconstitutional and rejected it…

Isn’t it odd how lately we have been told by our watchdog media on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays that the Palestinian factions have reached a ceasefire and everything is now hunky dory.

Then on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays we have gotten the breathless reports about the outbreak of new attacks.

Maybe the "unrest" in the Middle East isn’t caused by Western culture, or the presence of the US — or even the existence of Israel. Maybe the problem is the locals.

The violence reached a new peak on Tuesday morning when the street battles moved inside Gaza’s A-Shifa medical complex. Mortar shells were fired inside the hospital’s emergency room.

It’s almost as if they don’t value human life.

(Thanks to 1sttofight for the heads up.)

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, December 19th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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