Gunmen enter Palestine TV station in hail of bullets

Monday, June 5, 2006

Gunmen forced their way into a building used by Palestinian Television in Khan Younis today. Approximately 15 gunmen fired toward the sky as they stormed the building shouting, "You are collaborators. You are biased. You are dirty people" the staff reported.

The armed men then discharged their weapons wildly into cameras, computers and other equipment leaving one employee of the transmission centre to say, "The whole place is ruined." After wreaking havoc for several minutes and beating up a cameraman, the vandals left.

Palestine TV stopped broadcasting for 30 minutes in protest at the attack.

According to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, leader of the opposition Fatah party, the Hamas government has until midday (0900 GMT) on Tuesday to agree with a manifesto that touches on an issue at the heart of Palestinian politics. The script indirectly recognises Israel as it calls for a Palestinian state to exist beside Israel.

Hamas came to power in the January 2006 elections, overcoming the incumbent Fatah parliament. The party denied being involved in the attack on the television station.

Abbas has threatened a July referendum on the manifesto if parliament does not accept the treatise by the specified time.