400,000 guns in Gaza

Friday, June 22, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

One in every three Gaza residents possesses a firearm, a problem that the area's new Hamas overlords are trying to remedy in order to avoid a repeat of the terror group's coup by someone else.

Thursday was the deadline Hamas had given any Gazan not affiliated with the group's armed wings to turn in his or her gun. However, very few of the estimated 400,000 firearms in Gaza were surrendered.

A number of gunmen from the vanquished Fatah-aligned Palestinian Authority security forces told the Associated Press that they buried their guns or even tossed them into the sea in order to prevent Hamas from taking possession of even more arms.

As Hamas completed its military conquest of Gaza last Thursday, it captured a huge amount of American-supplied weapons, including armored vehicles, from Palestinian Authority police bases.

The group has threatened to begin severely punishing any armed Palestinian who is not either a Hamas security officer or directly involved in violence against Israel.

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