Six year old girl and five others killed, Hamas arrests 200 Palestinians

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Following a series of explosions in Gaza, killing five Palestinians including a six year old girl, the ruling party Hamas arrested 200 Palestinians, citing it as "only the beginning". Many of the arrested are affiliated with the Islamist movement's Fatah rivals who denies responsibility for the events. The detainees were transferred to a prison previously used by the Palestinian Authority and colloquially known as the "Guantanamo of Gaza", after the controversial United States detention center.

Flag of Hamas

On Friday, a bomb exploded at a junction in the strip, killing five Hamas operatives along with a six year old girl. Another 15 bystanders were wounded. Hamas movement's armed wing, Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades told reporters that it was unknown who attacked the car on Gaza coastal road, adding that all of the passengers, including five Hamas militants, were killed. While the exact circumstances are still unclear, it is believed that the explosion was not a result of an unexpected eruption of explosives carried by the group. Hamas would not blame the rival Fatah faction directly for the incident but implied its involvement, issuing a statement blaming "members of the fugitive party".

A third of its kind attack in a single day, it was an upgrade in the internal violence flare-ups. Earlier on Friday morning, a Palestinian was killed during an attack on a Gaza City coffee shop while a house of a Hamas parliament member had another bomb hurled at it.

The Gaza Strip has been under the control of the Islamist Hamas movement since June 2007, when it seized full control from Fatah, routing the security forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a week of deadly infighting.