Slaughter in Palestinian Mosque

Where are Human Wrongs Watch, Amnesty International, National Council of Churches when you need them? While these organizations, and others of similar background are quick to condemn Israel for having the absolute nerve to defend itself from those who stated purpose is to kill them--and prove it by launching missiles which land randomly on schools, hospitals and homes, blow up buses and hotels, all the while preparing for a real, all out war--they are strangely silent when these same terrorists are killed by competing terrorists in an intra Islamist terrorist massacre.

In a mosque. Mohammed Salem of Reuters provides the grisly details of the most recent incident which some survivors are calling "a night of horror."

Palestinian Islamists Hamas struck back at an al-Qaeda challenge to their hold on the Gaza Strip by storming a mosque in battles that left the leader of the "Warriors of God" splinter group among up to 28 dead.

When fighting ended in the town of Rafah early on Saturday, Hamas said the preacher-physician who led the group and who had proclaimed an al Qaeda-style Islamic "emirate" from a mosque on Friday was dead -- blown up by his own hand along with a Syrian ally and killing a mediator trying to negotiate a truce.

The worst inter-Palestinian violence since Hamas seized Gaza from its secular, Western-backed rivals two years ago exposed bitter tensions in the blockaded coastal strip, where Hamas has imposed its own nationalist brand of Islam while also seeking Western favor to end its international isolation.

Will any international human rights organizations condemn these actions and the perpetrators? Probably not. But even if they feebly do, Israel will still be blamed. It has already started. The reporter, Salem, implicitly does.

Nonetheless, the isolation of Gaza's 1.5 million people by an Israeli blockade backed by Egypt limits the territory's use as an international base for al Qaeda, and analysts said the appearance of groups like the Warriors reflected more a popular frustration with hardships and January's Israeli offensive.

Maha Azzam of Chatham House in London said: "What has happened in Gaza in recent months, the Israeli invasion and the economic situation, has meant a renewed extremism at the fringes ... It doesn't mean an expansion of al Qaeda into Gaza."

Of course Salem neglects the constant bombardment of Israel from Gaza as the cause of Israeli "offensive." Gaza's hardships are self inflicted by its leadership.


If you experience technical problems, please write to