RealNews

Arafat's forces said to move against Hamas

Yasser Arafat’s security apparatus, under pressure from some Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to prevent the Islamic Hamas group from firing rockets at Israel, has stepped up patrols along the border and confiscated homemade missiles and launchers from militants, officials and other Palestinians said yesterday. They said hundreds of Palestinians harmed by repeated Israeli incursions into Gaza, often in response to the rocket attacks, had appealed in writing and in person to security authorities to take action against Hamas. Rashid Abu Shbak, who heads Preventive Security in the Gaza Strip, said Hamas agreed in talks earlier this month to suspend launching of the rockets, known here as Qassams, but a top Hamas leader denied the group made the commitment. Hamas has fired scores of rockets at Israeli communities in the last two years, killing one person and wounding fewer than a dozen. The last attack occurred a week ago. Israel often responds by destroying Palestinian crops, uprooting trees, and demolishing houses, which it says provide cover for the people firing rockets. Full Story

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