Kidnap attempt on US activist's parents
PALESTINIAN society disintegrated further yesterday as gunmen from the ruling Fatah movement tried to kidnap the parents of an American activist who died trying to halt the demolition of Gaza homes, while other militants destroyed part of Gaza's border wall with Egypt - killing two guards.
Both actions, and the takeover of seven government offices in the town of Rafah, were undertaken by the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade in order to put pressure on the Palestinian Authority to release a militant arrested on Tuesday for alleged involvement in the kidnapping last week of the British human rights worker Kate Burton and her parents, Helen and Hugh.
Spokesmen for the gunmen appeared on al-Jazeera television unmasked and announced that there would be no voting in Rafah on 25 January, the day of parliamentary elections, unless the suspected kidnapper, Alaa al-Hams, is released.
Two Egyptian guards were shot dead in the clashes on the border with Gaza after about 300 Palestinians streamed through two breaches in the border wall, security sources said last night.
The violence followed the destruction of a section of the border wall by two bulldozers stolen from the Rafah municipality. Earlier, gunmen rampaged through Rafah, closed the border crossing and occupied government buildings.
Leaders of the Palestinian Authority concede that the entire project of statehood is in jeopardy, not from Israel, but from their own political movement.
Yesterday's rampages began at about 2am, when six gunmen, angered over al-Hams's arrest, attempted to abduct charity workers Craig and Cindy Corrie, whose daughter Rachel was killed three years ago by an Israeli bulldozer.
You know what they say about laying down with dogs....
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