Sunday, July 27, 2008

Unknown Attacks on Hamas in Gaza City

An attack on a popular Hamas hangout in Gaza City was the first of its kind since Hamas' takeover of the Gaza Strip in June of 2007. Generally Hamas has provided very effective security for Gazan citizens since rather violently taking over Fatah security headquarters just over one year ago. Retalliation was expected and yet no confirmation yet exists who actually was behind the attacks, Fatah?, Israel, a disgruntled Gazan clan? We cannot yet jump to conclusions. Hamas responded by closing dozens of Fatah affiliated organizations.

This report from Palestinian Center for Human Rights:

PCHR strongly condemns the heinous crime perpetrated by unknown elements yesterday in Gaza that resulted in killing 6 people, including a 4-year old girl, and injuring 27 others. The crime was perpetrated by a directed explosive device in a beach-front café crowded with Hamas members and supporters. At the same time, PCHR strongly condemns the immediate reaction of the Government in Gaza and its security forces against supporters and institutions of the rival Fatah party, as if Fatah was behind the crime. This reaction included arresting dozens of Fatah activists as well as raiding and closing tens of civil society organizations, benevolent societies, and sports clubs affiliated with Fatah.

The Center’s preliminary investigation indicates that at approximately 20:25 on Friday, 25 July, an explosive device went off in El-Hilal Café on the Gaza City beach. It is a café usually frequented by Hamas activists and supporters. The explosion killed 6 people vacationing on the beach; all of them from Gaza City. One of the killed was a 4-year old child; and the other 5 were Hamas members. In addition, 27 people sustained injuries. Police sources informed PCHR that the explosive device was directed and was placed inside the café; and that it contained metallic shrapnel 10 – 12 millimeters in length.

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