Gaza terrorists fire mortar, IDF raids Hamas 'charities'

Monday, July 07, 2008 |  Israel Today Staff

Gaza-based Palestinian terrorists on Monday again broke an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire with Israel by firing a mortar shell at the Israeli sider of Gaza's Karni Crossing terminal. There were no injuries or damage in the attack.

Israel has warned that the ongoing low-level violence and Hamas' foot-dragging in negotiations over a prisoner exchange are threatening the stability of the truce.

Hamas officials retorted that they have no control over the actions of other Palestinian groups, nor will they police their terrorist brothers. As for prisoner exchange talks, a senior Hamas leader told a Nazareth radio station on Monday that the weekend reports were false, and that negotiations are continuing, but that the details are being purposely concealed from the press.

The last detailed report on the talks indicated that Hamas had suddenly raised its demands for releasing abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit to 1,000 jailed Palestinian terrorists being freed by Israel. Hamas had previously demanded Israel free 450 terrorists, a demand that the government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had reportedly agreed to.

Meanwhile in Judea and Samaria, where the Hamas-Israel truce is not in effect, Israeli forces on Monday reportedly raided and shut down a girls' school, a medical center and two other facilities all operated by a Hamas-affiliated charity.

The raid took place in the Samarian town of Nablus, and according to Palestinian sources either included or was carried out in cooperation with Palestinian Authority security forces.

The operation was believed to be part of a wider effort by Israel and the regime of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to prevent the same kind of Hamas takeover in Judea and Samaria that occurred last year in Gaza.

Hamas uses social services and charities to gain popularity among the Palestinian Arab public, which in turn has provided the terror group with a pool of eager recruits.

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