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 firstname.lastname@example.org. His Web site is www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com
©The Bulletin 2008