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Hamas Remember Arafat By Killing 6 Fatah

From the AFP:

Six shot dead at huge Arafat rally in Gaza

by Sakher Abu El Oun

GAZA CITY (AFP) – Hamas police killed six people in Gaza City on Monday as hundreds of thousands gathered to commemorate the death of Yasser Arafat in the biggest Fatah party rally since it was ousted by the Islamists.

Another 130 people were wounded when the Hamas-run police force opened fire as crowds threw rocks and chanted “Shiite, Shiite” — accusing them of being a proxy for Shiite Iran and its ally Syria, witnesses and medics said.

Palestinian television showed groups of protesters and armed men running through the streets and police beating a Fatah supporter with wooden batons.

The deaths smeared salt in the wounds of the already bitter divisions among Palestinians, with the head of the secular Fatah party’s parliamentary bloc saying there would be no talks with the Islamists.

“There will be no dialogue and no discussions with the killers and coup-makers of Hamas, no dialogue with those who do not believe in dialogue but only understand the language of blood and murder,” Azzam Ahmed said.

“I am convinced that the Palestinian people will purge them from their ranks and that the blood of today’s martyrs will be fuel for the resistance against them,” he added, in a statement from his office.

In a statement issued by Hamas the movement claimed that Fatah gunmen fired at the demonstrators, but an AFP correspondent at the scene and several witnesses said the Hamas-run police opened fire on the crowd.

Hours earlier the city centre had been filled with a sea of the yellow flags of the party founded by Arafat and currently led by president Mahmud Abbas, whose forces were driven from the Gaza Strip in a bloody takeover in mid-June.

The crowds waved Palestinian flags and held portraits of the iconic leader in his trademark black-and-white chequered keffiyeh as Fatah party officials called for unity over loudspeakers.

“We say to Hamas and these armed militias, stop your crimes. These crimes will not shake our determination,” said Zakaria Al-Agha, chief of Fatah in Gaza, reading a statement from Abbas.

“We call on Hamas which made a putsch to reverse course, and to end these criminal activities on the ground.”

The event, which began at 1000 GMT, drew as many as half a million people, senior Fatah official Ahmed Hellis said…

Well, there’s some poetic justice, anyway.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, November 12th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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