Israel decided to withdraw its troops from the two Palestinian districts, situated not far from the city of Ramallah. The areas around this city were occupied last week after the Hamas gunmen attack on a bus with the Israelis. Ten people died as a result of that assault and 30 more were wounded.
The withdrawal of the troops can be estimated as Israel’s peculiar approval of Arafat's actions aimed at the cessation of fire. But they demand too much from Arafat, namely the arrest of all leaders of Hamas and the liquidation of all offices of this terrorist organization. The latest information only confirms the anxiety that the cessation of fire, which was announced by Arafat on Sunday, covers everyone, but Hamas. Two Palestinian policemen and five civilians were slightly wounded during an attempt of the Palestinian police to arrest the Hamas leader in Gaza, Abdel Aziz Rantisi.
Like RIA Novosti informed with reference to a Palestinian radio, the collision took place on Thursday morning, when the policemen arrived at Rantisi’s house in one of Gaza’s areas to arrest him as well as another Hamas leader, Mahmud Zahar, who also was in the house. These people are on the list of those, who must be arrested, after the administration of the Palestinian national autonomy announced a state of emergency on the Palestinian territories.
Hamas followers, who gathered near the house, started throwing stones in the policemen and the gunmen of the movement opened a fire. The police had to retreat. Rantisi told journalists that “the USA and Israel were trying to launch a civil war between the Palestinians, but this would not happen, if all Palestinians cooperated.” He rejected the information, which said that Hamas called upon its followers to stop the military operations against Israel. “Our movement has always considered a holy war as one of the methods of struggle, including the suicide bombers operations,” – said he.
The statements from Hamas are like a disaster for Arafat. But there is no need to give way to despair anyway. Other influential Islamic organizations set out their support to Arafat, like the Islamic Jihad, for example.
There are no joint views pertaining to the action of retaliation in Hamas, as it seems. A spokesman for Hamas said several hours before the mentioned events took place that a group considered an opportunity to stop the operations with suicide bombers against the Israeli targets. So, one may assume, the tactics of the terrorist group will largely depend on Israel’s actions in the future.
Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
On the photo: Abdel Aziz Rantisi