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Arab Rivals Injure 30 in Gaza (INN-ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) 01/30/05)Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/news.php3?id=76086 INN} ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS INN} ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
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 © 01/30/05)

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