Sunday, August 14, 2005

Hamas stages armed exercise

From Jerusalem Post Breaking News from Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World: "Aug. 12, 2005 20:27 Updated Aug. 13, 2005 15:42 By ASSOCIATED PRESS GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip ...

Tens of thousands of Palestinians crowded into Gaza City's small fishing harbor Friday to celebrate the impending Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, waving flags and hearing promises from their leader, Mahmoud Abbas, that the West Bank and Jerusalem will be next.

Meanwhile, in Gaza early Friday, about 1,000 armed and masked Hamas combatants staged a training exercise in which they practiced infiltrating and attacking Jewish settlements. For the first time Hamas invited TV cameramen to film about 1,000 gunmen training ahead of the pullout. It wasn't clear whether this signaled an intent by the terrorist group to attack settlements during the impending pullout.

...The celebrators chanted anti-Israel slogans, burned Israeli flags and fired off rounds of ammunition into the air.

Surrounded by security guards, Abbas spoke briefly to the crowd: "From here, from this place, our nation and our masses are walking toward the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital," Abbas said....

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