The Last of the Christians
The mufti of the Palestinian authority issued a fatwa forbidding emigration from the Holy Land:
There has been much talk in Palestine about emigration, especially among the young people, due to the difficult security and economic situation. This is being done in search of a better life abroad. Many are continuing to rush to the gates of the embassies and consulates of the Western nations with requests for visas in order to reside permanently in those countries.
We hereby declare that emigration from the blessed lands is not permitted according to religious law. The people living in these areas must remain in their homes and must not leave them to conquerors. Those who abide by this ruling will perform an honorable deed and will support the Aksa Mosque.
The Post did not provide any statistics about the composition of this wave of emigration yet it's a sure bet that Christians are wildly overrepresented among emigrants. Over last years there were numerous reports of Christian exodus from the West Bank. Apart from a few neighborhoods, Beit Lehem is now almost completely dominated by Muslims.
Renewed Palestinian infighting was reported from Gaza. There appears to be a total breakdown of civil order in the strip. Life in the overcrowded and jammed Gaza was tough even during the best days of Oslo but the second intifada have brought the strip to the point and beyond of final socio-economical collapse.
Meanwhile the exodus of Christians and the Palestinian middle class seems to be preparing the scene for the fast approaching showdown between Israel and the Palestinians in the West Bank.
Final Exams !!! Please silence Your cell phones !!!
Palestinian factions continued battling each other in Gaza since Saturday. Shooting each other's supporters in the legs is no longer as much fun as it used to be.
Considering the fact that the Hamas activist was thrown off the 12th floor, while the Hamas militants climbed all 15 to drop their Fatah captive, I would suggest that we should see Fatah as a moderate force compared to Hamas.
The fighting took a grisly turn on Sunday, when Hamas militants kidnapped a member of Abbas' elite presidential guard, took him to the roof of a 15-story apartment building and threw him to his death.
That set off skirmishes throughout the city, including gun battles and shelling. Fatah militants surrounded the house of a Hamas mosque preacher, fired rocket-propelled grenades at the four-story building and then entered, firing at the preacher, and taking him away. Later, his body was brought to a hospital. Hamas pledged revenge.
And just before midnight, a Hamas activist was thrown off the 12th floor of a building and killed, security officials said. Four other Hamas men in the building were shot and wounded, bringing the day's toll to three dead and 36 wounded, medical officials said. A Hamas militant wounded Friday in southern Gaza infighting also died on Sunday.
. . .
Jun 11, 2007
By DIAA HADID
Associated Press Writer
On Monday, Musbah Abu al-Kheir, 17, who had to pass through several armed checkpoints on the way to school, had expressed his displeasure with both factions:
Indeed. They could not have waited until the exams are over ?
"Fatah and Hamas have no appreciation for the fact we are having final exams today," he said.
"How are we supposed to take exams to the sounds of gunfire and ambulance sirens?"
. . .
To be Thrown out of a Window in Gaza Means just That
The Jerusalem Post
Jun. 11, 2007
by Khaled Abu Toameh
Hamas and Fatah took their fight to two Gaza Strip hospitals on Monday, killing 10 people and wounding more than 25. Separately, a Palestinian was thrown from a tall building in Gaza City in the second incident of its kind in 24 hours.
. . .
Eyewitnesses said four Palestinians were killed in fierce fighting inside the Bet Hanun Hospital in the northern Gaza Strip. Among the victims were Eid al-Masri, and his sons, Faraj and Ibrahim.
Doctors said they were forced to close the hospital because of the fighting, which caused a power outage.
A similar gun battle erupted between Hamas and Fatah militiamen at Gaza City's Shifa Hospital, the largest medical center in the Strip, where two people were killed. One of the victims was identified as Mazen Ajour, a commander of Hamas's armed wing, Izaddin Kassam.
Hamas said Ajour was killed execution-style after being kidnapped by Fatah gunmen and PA security officers.
Local reporters told The Jerusalem Post that dozens of families living close to the hospital fled their homes out of fear for their lives.
The Palestinian Doctors' Union called on all militiamen to immediately withdraw from the hospitals, saying the fighting was threatening the lives of hundreds of patients. The union also appealed to the PA leadership to intervene to stop the fighting between Fatah and Hamas.
Another top Hamas operative, Muhammad Muhjez, was killed outside the home of senior Fatah official Jamal Abu Jadian in Bet Lahiya, in the northern Gaza Strip. Abu Jadian, who is one of the commanders of Fatah's armed wing, the Aksa Martyrs Brigades, was later assassinated by Hamas militiamen.
Hamas men shot and killed Yasser Baker, an officer in the PA's General Intelligence Force.
Earlier, Hamas accused Fatah militiamen of opening fire at the offices of the PA government in Gaza City. No one was hurt in the attack. In response, PA Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas called off the weekly cabinet meeting.
. . .
Hamas also accused Fatah of trying to assassinate PA Minister of Sports and Youth Bassem Naim of Hamas. A group of masked men fired several shots at his office at the ministry, but no one was hurt. The minister fled the area together with his aides and bodyguards.
Husam Abu Kainas, 26, was killed early Monday after being thrown from the 12th floor of a building in Gaza City. Hamas said he had been kidnapped a day earlier by Fatah militiamen who suspected him and his family of belonging to Hamas.
On Sunday, Muhammad Sawariki, a member of the PA's Force 17 "Presidential Guard" and a Fatah supporter, died after he was thrown from the 18th floor of another tower in Gaza City.
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