hamas website kids 88.
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Hamas has denied charges by two Israeli organizations that a cartoon-style Web site for kids that praises suicide bombings belongs to the militant Islamic movement.
The al-fateh.net site encourages children to commit suicide in order to kill Israeli soldiers and civilians. On Wednesday the site had an item telling a short story about a young girl who knowingly leads Israeli soldiers to a bomb and dies with them. The story said that "Suhad became a shahida (martyr) lying on the grass and smiling because she was a shahida for Palestine."
Itamar Marcus, Director of Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), an Israeli organization which monitors and translates Palestinian Arabic language media, said that the site, along with palestine-info.com and palestinegallery.com are official Hamas sites.
"A man by the name of Nizar Hussein who sits in Lebanon runs those site and he runs the children's Hamas Web site from the same server," said Marcus.
According to Dr. Reuven Ehrlich, a former army general who now directs an organization called the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center said Hussein works in the same office as leading Hamas official in Lebanon, Osama Hamdan.
"We know and assume that they are working together," said Ehrlich. "I checked it out with my Israelis sources and they confirmed this. I can't reveal who they are."
According to a Hamas official in Ramallah, Hamas has long been falsely accused of running the palestine-info.com Web site.
"You should ask [the Israelis] where they have this information from," Farhat Abu-Assad, a Hamas official in Ramallah, told The Jerusalem Post.
Abu-Assad said that many Islamic sites sympathize with Hamas "but that does not make them Hamas Web sites. The [people who run these sites] are private individuals that might sympathize with Hamas, but Hamas does not recognize these Web sites."
Marcus said the proof is in the content. "The fact is that they use these sites to publicize their announcements," said Marcus. "That is their way of getting their messages out to the world."
But Abu-Assad said the announcements are available to all and appear in many Palestinian media agencies including the official Palestinian news agency WAFA and in Maan, an Internet news Web site.
Marcus added that palestinegallery.com has materials that could not be available to others. "There is no way in the world that they can get these films of suicide bombings on these Web sites."
The children's site, which is in Arabic, has a "Shahid of the Week" on its homepage.
PMW believes that the reason Hamas does not have a declared official Web site is because it might be closed down for political reasons. Indeed, in an interview with UPI on October 10, Osama Hamdan said that Hamas did not have its own Internet site and that political pressure caused down its former site to be shut down three years ago.
However PMW noted that some countries which host servers, such as Malaysia, would not close a Hamas Web site.
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