With Hamas in full control of Gaza City, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has sworn in his new government early Sunday afternoon. Soon after the new government was put in place, Hamas denounced the new PA government, calling it an illegal government.
Hundreds of Palestinians have gathered at the Palestinian side of the Erez crossing begging to move to the Israeli side of the border following Hamas’ takeover. The crossing was closed after hundreds arrived there yesterday, begging to cross into Israel, forcing IDF soldiers to fire in the air. (More than 200 Fatah officers who fled Gaza to Egypt have been sent back by Egypt.)
Meanwhile, newly appointed Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak plans to launch a military offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, according to the British Sunday Times. The paper quotes a “senior military source” as saying that Israel would strike in response to Palestinian rocket attacks or a suicide bombing. According to the report Barak has already “demanded detailed plans to deploy two armored divisions and an infantry division, accompanied by assault drones and F-16 jets.”
As was expected, the Arabs started blaming Israel for the Hamas take-over in Gaza. Hamas’ chief enemy, former Fatah Gaza strongman Mohammed Dahlan said in an interview on Arab TV, he justified the poor performance of the pro-Fatah security men, who outnumbered Hamas fighters by thousands, explaining they were ”exhausted and destroyed” following years of fighting Israel, and therefore unprepared for war with Hamas.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Mohammad Ali Hosseini, said in an interview this morning “the increased tension in the Palestinian Authority was caused by anonymous parties who were “constantly busy inflaming the internal disagreements among the various Palestinian factions” – hinting to Israel.
The director of The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Gaza, John Ging told Ynet that unless Israel allows for supplies to go through the border crossings into the Gaza Strip, the people there will go hungry within ten days.
The London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat reported on Sunday morning, that Israel has offered to remove the economic embargo if kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit is returned to them first.
Israel has also ceased to sell any fuel to Gaza – besides to run the electricity in the city.
Looting has been getting worse – with the former residence of Yasser Arafat having been looted early Sunday. His Nobel peace prizes were stolen, as well as many documents, his military uniforms, medals and other priceless memorabilia belonging to his wife. The home was stripped bare with some reports stating that the bathroom tiles and piping ripped out completely.
Hamas meanwhile is attempting to establish “law and order” in the Gaza Strip states that they have rounded up tens of thousands of weapons from non-Hamas personnel.
The Gaza nightmare continues…….