Now it is Hamas vs. Islamic Jihad (& From Russia to Gaza with love?)

August 02, 2007

* This dispatch contains underreported events this week concerning the Palestinians



1. Now it is Hamas vs. Islamic Jihad
2. Hamas bombs West Bank jail
3. It must be love
4. Hamas bans Palestinian TV from Gaza
5. Hamas clamps down on distribution of newspapers
6. Palestinians have right “to resist,” says new “moderate” Palestinian PM
7. Palestinian intelligence officer murdered
8. Jail term halved for Jordanian who killed daughter
9. Here is the news from the BBC

[Note by Tom Gross]


In June it was Hamas vs. Fatah.

Now it is Hamas and Islamic Jihad who are beginning a bloody round of clashes in the Gaza Strip. Yet this news is barely being reported in the western media (if Israel isn’t to blame, they are not interested), and we haven’t heard even a murmur of condemnation from all the various self-styled Palestinian “solidarity groups” dotted around Europe, but the Arab media is following events with interest.

For example, Al Bawaba reports:

“Two Palestinians died today in Gaza City as Hamas and Islamic Jihad continued their violent clashes over the right to fire weapons in public.

“Islamic Jihad said its men were ambushed early Thursday by Hamas activists, dragged out of a mosque and shot in the legs. Another man, Nidal al-Daya, was shot in the head, Islamic Jihad said.

“A bystander, Salah al-Amoudi, who happens to be a Fatah official, was shot dead by masked gunmen shortly after as he was making his way home from the mosque, witnesses and hospital officials said.

“... The clashes started Tuesday night, when Islamic Jihad gunmen fired in the air in celebration during a wedding. On Wednesday, Hamas’ Executive Forces fired a rocket at a house in Gaza City and traded fire with Islamic Jihad gunmen inside, wounding 10 people. One Hamas man later died of his wounds.”



Is the Palestinian terror group so respected by Jimmy Carter beginning to run out of other targets?

Yediot Ahronot reports: “An explosive device was detonated Tuesday in a Palestinian Authority prison in Nablus... No injuries were reported in the blast at Jenaid prison. Palestinian sources said the event is considered a ‘warning sign’ to the PA, to stop its arrests of Hamas operatives.”



From Russia with love?

Apparently Israel has been so successful at preventing Palestinian suicide bombers that Hamas operatives have had to try and lose their virginity elsewhere.

Palestinian journalist Ali Waked reports that one young would-be bomber has met the woman of his dreams via a Russian website. Following Hamas’s takeover of Gaza in mid-June, she was smuggled into the Strip, where the two have wed, shortly after meeting for the first time.

His new wife has converted to Islam, and they were married in a traditional Muslim ceremony.

As one young Israeli said of the story: “Please Hamas, smuggle brides, not kalashnikovs! May their children not grow up to be suicide bombers!”



Hamas yesterday banned the official Palestinian Authority television from making or broadcasting any programs in the Gaza Strip. PATV has been under the control of PA President and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas for the past year.

PATV received a letter from the Hamas Information Ministry informing it that Hamas was “banning production or broadcast of television programs from the Gaza Strip.”

Hamas had accused the TV station of being critical of it.

The Palestinian journalists’ union, based in Ramallah in the West Bank, slammed the decision. “We condemn with the utmost severity the terrorism of the government ... and the repression organized against journalistic freedoms,” it said in a statement.

Journalist unions and media organizations in the West are too busy criticizing Israel to notice.

The remaining television station in Gaza (al-Aqsa) and radio stations (Sawt al-Aqsa and Sawt al-Quds) are both strongly Islamist.

Sawt al-Quds had broadcast a sermon praising the London terrorist attacks. See here.



Palestinian journalist Khaled Abu Toameh (who is a longtime subscriber to this email list) reports that on Monday Hamas militiamen prevented the distribution of three Fatah-affiliated newspapers in the Gaza Strip and briefly detained the local distribution agents of the dailies.

This is the first time that the newspapers published in the West Bank, were prevented from distribution in the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian journalists said thousands of copies of the three newspapers were seized by Hamas’s paramilitary Executive Force on the Palestinian side of the Erez border crossing.

According to the journalists, six Palestinians working for the newspapers were detained for questioning by Hamas. Two of them, Hatem Kishawi and Samir Jaber, work for the Fatah-controlled Al-Ayyam. The other four work for the PA-funded Al-Hayat Al-Jadida and Al-Quds, a pro-Fatah newspaper owned by a family from east Jerusalem.

The three newspapers had been critical of Hamas’s violent takeover of the Gaza Strip in June.



Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad repeatedly described as a moderate by newspapers like The New York Times has said Palestinians have “a legitimate right to resist Israeli occupation, even if the phrase does not appear in his new government program.”

Fayyad made the remarks in Arabic to reporters in Cairo on Monday.

“Resistance” is a euphemism for suicide and other terror acts on Israelis.

At the insistence of the Bush administration, the platform of the new Palestinian government in the West Bank had for the first time omitted the phrases “armed struggle” and “resistance”.



The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (an independent organization run from Ramallah by Palestinians who subscribe to this email list) reports that a Palestinian General Intelligence officer has been “tortured and killed in Rafah” (in the Gaza Strip).

The body of Palestinian intelligence officer Ismail El-Mashoukhi was found in the Mawasi area to the west of Rafah on Monday. The body bore signs of severe torture and beating. El-Mashoukhi had been kidnapped the day before.

The PCHR “calls on the Palestinian Attorney-General to prosecute those responsible and for the Palestinian civilian police force to return to work in the Gaza Strip in order to protect the security interests of the civilian population.”



A Jordanian court has halved the jail term of a man who beat his daughter to death, because she visited her estranged mother without his permission, a judicial source said.

The criminal court initially jailed the man for 15 years’ hard labor after the killing, but then reduced it to seven-and-a-half years “to give him a chance to improve himself”.

The 41-year-old father clubbed his daughter to death January 23 last year, because she left home without his permission to visit her mother, who had left the family home after a dispute with her husband.

According to court papers, the victim “insulted her father” when he slapped her before he then beat her to death.



Here is a satirical cartoon on the BBC that I was sent.

-- Tom Gross

All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.