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Hamas Critic Gunned Down Outside Mosque In Gaza January 5, 2007

Posted by notapundit in World News.
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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP)–Assailants gunned down a Muslim preacher known for his anti-Hamas views on Friday, witnesses said, moments after he exited a mosque where he had delivered a sermon criticizing the Islamic group’s role in a recent wave of Gaza violence.

The slaying came as thousands of Palestinian mourners marched through Gaza City carrying the bodies of seven Fatah men killed in a standoff with Hamas. Thursday’s gunfight was the bloodiest single battle in weeks of factional fighting, and Fatah said it was suspending talks with Hamas until the assailants are brought to justice.

There was no claim of responsibility in Friday’s shooting of Adel Nasar, a mosque preacher, but Fatah accused Hamas. Nasar was shot as he got in a car in the Mughazi refugee camp in central Gaza, according to witnesses.

Salem Salama, a lawmaker and top Hamas official in central Gaza, denied any involvement by his group.

Nasar, 50, was not openly affiliated with any political party, but he was a well-known figure in the refugee camp and often preached against Hamas. Shortly before the shooting, Nasar had criticized Thursday’s bloody attack on the home of Col. Mohammed Ghayeb, a top Fatah official in northern Gaza, witnesses said.

Nasar didn’t mention Hamas by name, but Awwar said the preacher’s message was aimed at the Islamic group, which controls most of the Palestinian government.

The violence prompted an urgent meeting early Friday between Abbas and Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas. Though the two sides agreed to pull back their forces, the meeting failed to cool raging tensions.

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