Jerusalem – A series of explosions rocked Gaza Saturday, and a 6-year-old girl and six Hamas fighters were killed. Hamas blamed Fatah, the faction represented by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, for their deaths and vowed revenge.

Loudspeakers, following the explosions blared the message, “This will not go by in silence.”

The deadliest blast occurred early Saturday morning night near the Gaza coastline. A powerful bomb planted near an intersection was detonated by remote control when a car containing five high-ranking, armed Hamas men passed by, killing everyone inside. A 6-year-old girl who was standing on the street also perished in the blast.

At noon, an explosion that shook downtown Gaza, killing another Hamas member.

Yet another explosion occurred in the doorway of Marwan Abu Ras, a high-ranking Hamas operative, but no one was hurt in that blast.

Among those killed included senior members of Hamas’ military wing such as:

* Iz a Din of the al-Qassam Brigades;

* Mr. Amar Musbah, the personal aide of the wing’s commander, Mr. Muhammad Jabari;

* Mr. Iyad el-Hiya, the nephew of political bureau member Dr. Khalil el-Hiya;

* and Mr. Nidal el-Mabayed, a high-ranking member of the military wing.

Despite Fatah television’s having exuded with joy over the attacks, Fatah political operatives hurried to deny all connection with the explosions. And Hamas operatives accused Mr. Abbas of having been responsible for the attacks, saying that Fatah has resumed the civil war. Last year, Hamas ejected Fatah from Gaza following weeks of bloody fighting.

The Hamas government then called on its security forces to take all measures against those who were responsible.

On Saturday morning, Hamas fighters retaliated, raiding Fatah offices throughout the Gaza Strip. They conducted searches, confiscated computers and arrested approximately 120 members of the rival faction. Additionally, Hamas operatives set up roadblocks throughout Gaza City and searched cars.

“This crime will not go by without a response,” Hamas spokespeople told the media, calling the action a “massacre.”

On Saturday, The Bulletin confirmed, however, the Fatah leadership, which controls the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah will continue to fund more than 50 percent of the Hamas government’s budget in Gaza.

David Bedein can be reached at dbedein@israelbehindthenews.com. His Web site is www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com

©The Bulletin 2008

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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and www.cfnepr.com. A new site,unrwa-monitor.com, will be launched very soon.