Gaza warlord rejects call to end weapons displays

April 1, 2006 18:43


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With dozens of armed supporters firing into the air, a powerful Gaza Strip gang leader on Saturday rejected the Palestinian prime minister's call to end a public display of weapons. Samir Masharawi, a senior figure in the Fatah movement in Gaza, arrived from a trip to Egypt on Saturday, a day after four people were killed in factional fighting. The violence was sparked by the assassination of a top of the Popular Resistance Committees. The tiny group accused several prominent Gaza figures, including Masharawi, of involvement. Early Saturday, Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas urged calm and called for an end to public displays of weapons. But Masharawi rejected to the call. "I will not be able to convince the Palestinian citizens or the sons of Fatah who feel very offended" by the accusations, he said. "When the government starts a correct beginning ... then we will cooperate to end the public display of weapons." However, he did call for "self-restraint" by Fatah members.

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