Hamas says ‘era of mercy’ gone, threatens executions

August 2nd, 2008 - 6:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Gaza, Aug 2 (DPA) Hamas Saturday said the “era of mercy” had come to an end for what it called “troublemakers” in the Gaza strip, adding that it would deal harshly with opponents to its rule. “The era of treating criminals, murderers, spies and collaborators with mercy and amnesty has gone and the way to deal with them will be clear; soon you will see executions being implemented according to the law,” said Mushier al-Masri, a Hamas legislator.

Hamas launched a crackdown against “troublemakers” in the Gaza Strip following a mysterious blast that killed a girl and five Hamas members on the beach July 25. But most of the detainees in the crackdown were from Hamas’ political rival, the Fatah movement of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Meanwhile, Hamas has for the first time implicitly admitted that its detentions in Gaza were politically motivated. Hamas Friday arrested senior Fatah leaders in response to the arrests that pro- Abbas forces conduct against Hamas people in West Bank.

“We will respond in the same way until the bids to destroy Hamas in the West Bank stops.”

The current crackdown against Fatah in Gaza has been the toughest since Hamas violently took over the coastal enclave and routed pro- Abbas forces last year.

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