Monday, February 09, 2009

A Hamas member, who was arrested on Friday, died in a PA prison. The PA claimed that he committed suicide but Hamas and his family are saying that he was tortured to death. His brother says that his body showed bruises around his waist. He had not been charged officially with any crimes. (I am going to count this as a 2009 PalArab self-death, the 20th this year. The suicide story seems farfetched, and the PA tortures people as regularly as Hamas does.)

Hamas' expulsion of Al Arabiya correspondent Wael Essam is making ripples, as many Arabs are criticizing the move. MEMRI has two of his recent reports on arms smuggling and rocket production. Essam, who has Palestinian Arab ancestry, is interviewed here, where he says that he has been kicked out of war zones before (he reported from Iraq and Lebanon) but never by his own people.

Gunmen opened fire at the PA Minister of the Interior in Nablus. Attacks on PA members and institutions seem to be increasing in the West Bank, possibly as a result of the increased prestige Hamas enjoys there for managing to hide most of its fighters for a few weeks.

Hamas is now reacting to the withering criticism it received when it floated the idea of a replacement fo rthe PLO. Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar now says that Hamas doesn't want to replace the PLO but it does want to have a much greater role in it, including the reversal of the PLO's supposed revocation of the articles in its charter that call for the destruction of Israel. Khaled Meshal says that the PLO should not only be represented by Fatah.

UNRWA is still waiting for Hamas to return the goods that it stole. Commenters at Palestine Press Agency are skeptical.

Hasbys!

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