A Hamas militant is seen inside of an X-ray machine in front of journalists in the passport processing area of the terminal at the Rafah Border Crossing which is now controlled by Hamas militants, near Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, June 15, 2007. On its first day of full rule in Gaza, the Islamic militant party Hamas on Friday granted amnesty to Fatah leaders, signaling that it seeks conciliation with the defeated forces of moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. (AP Photo/Hatem Omar, MaanImages)
The Birth of Hamastan
Looting, revenge deaths persist in Gaza
By DIAA HADID, Associated Press Writer
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – On Hamas’ first day of full rule in Gaza, crowds looted strongholds of the rival Fatah on Friday â€” stripping the home of one of the party’s strongmen down to the flower pots â€” and militants sent a man plunging to his death from a rooftop.
AP Photo: A Palestinian militant from Hamas stands over pictures of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Arafart
But the violence, which came despite a Hamas offer of amnesty for Fatah, was sporadic. Gaza’s streets, deserted in the past week of fighting, were crowded with cars, pedestrians and triumphant fighters with the Islamic militant group.
At Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ captured seaside office in Gaza City, a gunman sat down at the Fatah leader’s desk, picked up the phone and pretended to be calling Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. “Hello, Rice?” the gunman said. “Here we are in Abu Mazen’s office. Say hello to Abu Mazen for me.” Other gunmen rifled through Abbas’ belongings in a bedroom behind the office, lifting up a mattress and searching through drawers.
Safe in Ramallah, Abbas appointed his own prime minister on Friday after the Hamas prime minister ignored the president’s announcement that he had been fired. Hamas’ military takeover of Gaza, after five days of battle, formalized the separation between Gaza and the West Bank, which lie on either side of Israel.
The moderate government Abbas plans to appoint will have no say in Gaza, but stands a stronger chance than the Hamas-Fatah coalition it replaces of restoring foreign aid to the West Bank. He drew support â€” either explicitly or tacitly â€” from the European Union, the U.N., Egypt and Jordan.
A resident of a Hamas-dominated neighborhood, identifying himself only as Yousef for fear of reprisal by his neighbors, said Gazans would always back the winner, regardless of ideology.
“Today everybody is with Hamas because Hamas won the battle. If Fatah had won the battle they’d be with Fatah. We are a hungry people, we are with whoever gives us a bag of flour and a food coupon,” said Yousef, 30. “Me, I’m with God and a bag of flour.”
Palestinians in the West Bank viewed the Hamas takeover of Gaza with a mixture of fear and hope â€” realizing that it could bring needed foreign aid while dealing a major blow to dreams of Palestinian statehood
Ahmed al-Aziz, a 53-year-old merchant in Ramallah, said the fenced-in Gazans have little to lose. “Everybody here is worried about his interests or his business. In Gaza, people are poor. They don’t have work,” he said.
* Hmm, wonder why that is, any idea?
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Your Passport or your life
Hamas militants sit as they pose in the passport processing area of the terminal at the Rafah Border Crossing which is now controlled by Hamas militants, near Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, June 15, 2007. On its first day of full rule in Gaza, the Islamic militant Hamas on Friday granted amnesty to Fatah leaders, signaling that it seeks conciliation with the defeated forces of moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. (AP Photo/ Eyad Albaba)
A real gem here, click: The doublespeak of Azzam Tamimi on MP3
The audio file of Azzam Tamimi’s rantings from the August 16, 2006
Malanie Phillips has written that the BBC “filters events through a prism of hatred â€“ of Israel, of America and of western values. The BBC is simply the single greatest cultural weapon in the armoury of those who intend to bring the west down” (from “The War against the Jews (2)”).