Child steals Hamas prime minister's shoes from Gaza mosque

Monday, July 23, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh had his shoes stolen while delivering a sermon at a Gaza City mosque last Friday, in an incident Palestinian sources said was a great embarrassment for the ruling terror group.

As the service ended, Haniyeh discovered his shoes were missing, prompting his panicked bodyguards to seal everyone inside the mosque until the footwear could be located, reported The Jerusalem Post. At one point, reinforcements were called in to aid in the effort.

It is customary for Muslim men to remove their shoes when entering a mosque. It is also customary for young Arab boys to steal the nicest looking shoes for themselves or their relatives.

Following a brief but intense search, the young thief was apprehended and then released after Hamas officials determined the boy was unaware of whose shoes he had taken.

But that didn't stop some Hamas officials of blaming the rival Fatah faction for the incident.

“These Fatah people are doing their utmost to discredit Hamas,” one Hamas source told the Post. “It's possible that the boy was sent by some Fatah activists to steal the shoes to embarrass Hamas.”

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