Sunday, 7 August 2011

Hamas forces arrest salafist rocket firers but Tawhid wal Jihad group says attacks will continue

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories — Hamas security forces in the Gaza Strip on Saturday detained two members of an Islamist group suspected of firing rockets at Israel, the group said in a statement.

Tawhid wal Jihad, a Salafist organisation, confirmed that Hamas security forces had detained two of its members in an early morning raid.

"Forces from the government of Ismail Haniya arrested two members of a group of holy warriors from the Tawhid wal Jihad group in the north of Gaza on Saturday morning," the Salafist organisation said in a statement.

"The rest of the members were able to escape and withdrew safely to their homes," the statement added.

The group acknowledged that the arrested members were part of a group firing missiles from Gaza, confirming earlier reports that Hamas forces had detained fighters who have fired dozens of missiles into Israel this month.

In the statement, the group warned that it would continue to fire rockets at Israel.

"Our weapons are directed at the Zionists and no one else, and we will not be diverted from the path of jihad like others have been," the group said. more

Fatah and Hamas meeting with Egyptian intelligence officials to hammer out reconciliation deal

CAIRO — Rival Palestinian groups Fatah and Hamas opened talks Sunday in Egypt aimed at implementing a reconciliation agreement struck in May, state news agency MENA reported.

The two sides held consultations late Saturday in the presence of Egyptian intelligence officials, the agency said, adding Fatah's delegation is led by Azzam al-Ahmed and Hamas by Musa Abu Marzuq.

Fatah official Sakhr Bssisso said the talks would focus on "mechanisms of implementing the reconciliation deal," in all its aspects, including the formation of a new government -- one of the main hurdles delaying the deal.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zahri told AFP on Saturday that his group was "serious in wanting to implement the agreement as soon as possible".

But he added there were some hurdles, namely Fatah's insistance to keep Salam Fayyad at the head of the government. more