Skip to comments.Nobody Is Above The Law, Says Hamas After Rival Groups Clash
Posted on 04/02/2006 7:52:14 PM PDT by blam
Nobody is above the law, says Hamas after rival groups clash
By Tim Butcher in Jerusalem
Hamas yesterday faced its toughest internal challenge since being swept unexpectedly to power in the Palestinian territories when rival militant groups in Gaza took part in a series of clashes that left four dead and dozens wounded.
Clashes were sparked by the murder of Abu Yussef al-Gouga
Said Siam, the newly appointed Hamas interior minister, appealed for calm and warned that his government would clamp down heavily on armed groups who used their weapons against each other rather than in the struggle against Israel.
"We will ensure that nobody is above the law and demand an end to the instability and armed chaos,'' Mr Siam said.
But his appeal came after non-Hamas groups flatly rejected an earlier demand by the Islamist group for all armed factions in Gaza to stop parading publicly with their weapons.
Fatah struggled in vain for years to rein in the numerous armed factions who divide Palestinian society and whose rivalry often breaks out into blood-letting.
It came as Israel increased military action against Palestinian militants firing Qassam rockets from Gaza into Israel. For the first time in recent memory, Israeli warships added a naval bombardment to the routine artillery and air barrages launched at areas in northern Gaza from where the Qassams are fired.
This has led to speculation that Israel is preparing a ground assault of northern Gaza to try to create a buffer zone near the Israeli frontier from where Israel can guarantee no Qassams can be fired.
Such a tactic would partially reverse the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza carried out last summer.
Mr Siam was speaking after clashes sparked by the murder on Friday by a commander from the Popular Resistance Committees, Abu Yussef al-Gouga.
After he died, senior PRC colleagues held a press conference at which they accused Fatah rivals of being behind the assassination. Fatah gunmen took exception, opening fire at the press conference and the funeral of Mr al-Gouga. Four died and 36 were injured.
Mr Siam said the Hamas government was setting up an official inquiry to find out who killed Mr al-Gouga and who was responsible for the aftermath.
"We are giving the security forces all the authority and power to investigate this ugly crime and also the three killings and other casualties that followed,'' he said.
...in even starving third world nations do they think it's important to obey the law. Wonder what Hamas would say about the illegal immigrant demonstrations...
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