Arab Rivals Injure 30 in Gaza (INN-ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) 01/30/05)
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A Hamas victory rally Saturday erupted into a gun battle between its
supporters and backers of the dominant Fatah party, which suffered an
embarrassing loss in Thursday´s local town elections.
Hamas won two-thirds of the seats up for grabs, dealing Palestinian
Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) a severe setback
in his efforts to silence the terrorist organization
Saturday´s violence occurred after a Fatah supporter shot at the
Hamas group during a victory march in one of the few areas that Fatah
won in the elections.
"You chose secularism. You should have chosen Islam," shouted the
Hamas crowd of several hundred celebrants. After the first shot,
fights broke out with knives, clubs and guns.
The PA and the American government are concerned that the Hamas
victory will encourage the terrorist organization to participate in
PA parliamentary elections later this year. Hamas boycotted the
recent presidential election, which Abu Mazen won. A key to the Hamas
political victory was its outlays for welfare and education.
Abu Mazen, the successor to Yasser Arafat, has tried to cajole
terrorist groups into joining his government. His electoral success
and strong backing from the Israeli government, European and Arab
countries and from the United States strengthened his position until
the elections in Gaza gave Hamas an overwhelming victory. Elections
in Gaza City are scheduled in about three months. (IsraelNationalNews
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