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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Palestinian Civil War Watch: Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades threaten to kill Hamas heads

This just keeps getting better.

The heads of the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades - the 'armed wing' of 'moderate Palestinian President' Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen's Fatah - have threatened to kill the entire Hamas leadership, including 'moderate Palestinian Prime Minister' Ismail Haniyeh and Hamas 'politburo chief' Khaled Meshaal.

In a message sent to news agencies, the group said that it considered Meshaal, 'Interior Minister' Sayid Siam and another high-ranking member of the 'Interior ministry', Yosef al-Zahar, responsible for the deaths of 'Palestinians' killed over the last two days during Hamas-Fatah clashes.
“We in al-Aqsa announce, with all might and frankness, the ruling of the people in the homeland and in the diaspora, to execute the head of the sedition, Khaled Mashaal, Saeed Seyam and Youssef al-Zahar, and we will execute this ruling so those filthy people can be made an example,” the statement said.
In response, Hamas 'legislator' Mushir al-Masri accused al-Aqsa of 'pouring oil on the fire' between the rival groups but then:
He said Hamas would “Not show mercy” If any of its leaders were targeted by what he called “The leaders of the internal coup”.
But here's the best part: Someone decided to ask whether everyone in al-Aqsa feels the same way:
A spokesman for the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in Gaza declined to say whether the statement represented the views of the entire group or certain factions.

The spokesman described the statement as a “Natural response” After Seyam ordered his forces to take to the streets of Gaza on Sunday to confront striking policemen demanding overdue salaries. Clashes between rival Hamas and Fatah forces quickly erupted and spread.
In a review of the Arabic press in Sunday's Jerusalem Post, reporter Khaled Abu Toameh reports that most of the 'Palestinian' press feels that the weekend clashes portend a war:
Controlled by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah, the official PA media put the blame for the street battles on Hamas and its government.

Al-Kuds and Al-Ayyam, the two leading dailies, ran black banner headlines declaring "Black Sunday" and "Catastrophe" in the Gaza Strip.

A cartoon published in Al-Kuds showed a man flushing weapons used during the internecine fighting down the toilet.

Al-Hayat al-Jadeeda, another PA-funded daily, used one word in its main headline to describe the events: "sedition." The word appeared in red as a symbol of the bloodletting, on top of a picture featuring armed clashes between the two parties.

Abdel Karim Darwish, a prominent Gaza City businessman, called on the warring parties to halt the fighting to avoid civil war. "We are heading toward civil war," he wrote in the Donia al-Watan electronic magazine. "We must stop the fighting before it becomes too late."

Warning that the Palestinians were on the brink of civil war, Hafez Barghouti, editor of Al-Hayat al-Jadeeda, wrote that some Hamas leaders were not interested in the establishment of a national unity government and ending international sanctions imposed on the PA since Hamas came to power. His words were clearly directed toward Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal and others living in Syria and Lebanon.

"There is a certain trend in Hamas that does not want to see a national unity government," he charged. "They also don't want to see the end of the economic sanctions. Even if the international community resumes the financial aid, they will try to stop it."

Samih Shabib, a columnist with Al-Ayyam, called on the Hamas-led government "to stop acting like an ostrich by continuing to hide its head in the sand." The government, he added, cannot continue pretending that there is no starvation. "The government is trying to cancel the reality," he said. "Hamas must quickly accept the reality as it is."

Political analyst Omar al-Ghoul urged Abbas to cut short his current Arab tour, return home and dismiss the Hamas-led government. He said the only solution for the ongoing crisis was to declare a state of emergency and form a new cabinet that would run the PA until new elections.


Bassem Abu Sumaya, director of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation, expressed deep regret that the political turmoil in the PA areas had spilled over into internal fighting and bloodshed. Noting that many educated Palestinians were caught by surprise by the Hamas-Fatah confrontation, he condemned the torching of Hamas-run institutions. However, he also described Siam's decision to prevent protests by PA policemen as a "cowardly act."
I'm rooting for both sides to do as much damage to each other as possible.


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