Saturday, September 24, 2005

Taking their own medicine

A truck filled with masked militants and homemade weapons exploded at a Hamas rally Friday, killing at least 15 Palestinians and wounding 80.

Mishandled explosives apparently caused the blast, which came a day before an agreement by militants not to publicly parade weapons is to take effect.
Hamas said six militants were killed, including Jihad Shaleal, head of the group's military wing in Jebaliya.

Hamas swiftly claimed Israeli aircraft had targeted the militants with a missile. "We will avenge the blood of our martyrs," said Nizar Rayan, a Hamas leader.
But Palestinian officials said the explosion was set off by the mishandling of explosives. The Interior Ministry issued a statement calling on Hamas "to shoulder its responsibility for these ... explosions instead of making accusations against others."

The PA reaction hints at the fact that this, and previous deadly mishaps, could be the result of infighting between Palestinian terrorists factions.

Hassan Yousef, the Hamas leader in the West Bank, said Friday's events would make Hamas reconsider its tactics, "such as military parades and things that would harm people."


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