Friday, August 14, 2009

Haniyeh calls Al-Qaeda group "Zionist"

There's a gun battle "raging" in Gaza, with 13 deaths, according to a current BBC headline. Here is what is at issue, as you may have read already:
. . . during Friday prayers, hundreds of worshippers at Ibn-Taymiyah mosque declared Gaza an "Islamic emirate".

The mosque's imam - Abdul-Latif Moussa - and armed supporters swore to fight to the death rather than hand over authority of the mosque to Hamas. [...]
Look what pops up around paragraph eleven:
During his own Friday sermon, the leader of Hamas in Gaza, Ismail Haniya, dismissed Mr Moussa's comments.

"These declarations [of an Islamic emirate] are aimed towards incitement against the Gaza Strip and an attempt at recruiting an international alliance against the Gaza Strip.

"And we warn those who are behind these Israeli Zionist declarations: the Gaza Strip only contains its people." [...]
This is a guy who has been published in the Washington Post.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

Update: Juan Cole is with Haniyeh on this one:
As for why some people at a mosque in Rafah turned to this extremist organization, it has to be remembered that Gaza is under siege by the Israelis and faces shortages, including of food. Rebuilding from Israel's war on little Gaza has still not been allowed to begin . . . Israeli policies are what have turned Gaza into a powder keg. And we haven't heard the last of al-Qaeda-type organizations growing up there if the Israeli siege continues.

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