The Happy Arab News Service

Sunday, April 1, 2007

New Guys in Town

Eyewitnesses told The Jerusalem Post that Adnan Manasreh, 30, a prominent member of the Salafi branch in the Gaza Strip, was gunned down as he walked out of a mosque in the Shajaiyeh neighborhood of Gaza City last Friday. Two of his relatives were wounded in the attack.

"Four masked gunmen approached him and opened fire, killing him instantly," the witnesses reported. "They fled in a white Peugeot."

The Post reports that at least two other Salafi sheikhs were killed in the past six months. Salafis are considered to be very close ideologically to Al Kaida and in many ways they act as a franchise of Al Kaida in Gaza/West Bank. Unlike Hamas they reject political process in any form, supporting instead Sharia and an unrestrained version of Jihad. A senior PA official told the Post that tensions between Hamas and Salafis have been mounting ever since Al Kaida No. 2, Ayman Zawahiri, has accused Hamas of selling out to US/Israel. The official said that all indications are that Kassam brigades are behind the assassination. Yet . . .

Ayman Taha, a Hamas spokesman in the Gaza Strip, strongly denied that his movement was behind the assassination.

"These lies are being spread by Fatah and its media outlets," he said. "They are aimed at driving a wedge between our people. Some people in Fatah are trying to renew the infighting [with Hamas]."

Hundreds of PA security officers attended Manasreh's funeral, a clear sign of some kind of ties, or even cooperation, between the Salafis and the PA. And . . .

In a separate development, unidentified gunmen blew up another Internet cafe in the Gaza Strip over the weekend. No one was hurt in the attack, the latest in a series of similar attacks on Internet cafes in the area in the past four months. A group calling itself the Righteous Swords of Islam claimed responsibility for the attacks.


Looks like the Palestinians went into a full downward spin towards hardcore Islamism. Now Hamas should be considered moderates.

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