Hamas takes arms from Gaza clan

Agrees to leave several weapons for use against Israel and other Palestinians.

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August 17, 2007 17:52
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Hamas forces have collected weapons from a large, influential clan linked to the four-month kidnapping of a BBC reporter, Hamas said Friday. The Doghmush family turned in 60 weapons to the forces for the Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip on Thursday, Hamas spokesman Saber Khalifa said. Hamas agreed to let the clan keep several weapons on the condition that they are used against Israel and against Palestinians in any future fighting, Khalifa said. Hamas has tried since its bloody takeover of Gaza from the rival Fatah movement in June to demonstrate its authority, calling for weapons to be turned in and preventing demonstrations by political rivals. Those from the Doghmush clan who were linked to the kidnapping of BBC reporter Alan Johnston would be "brought to justice," Khalifa said. "The goal is not to collect the weapons, but to impose law and order and make the family stick to its commitments," he said. Although infighting in Gaza has been rare since the Hamas takeover, tensions between Hamas and the Doghmush family have been high. Two members of the Hamas force were killed earlier this week when Hamas and the Doghmush clan traded rifle and grenade fire after the Hamas forces tried to arrest a clansman. The Doghmushes have ties to the Army of Islam, a shadowy group that held Johnston. The group also was involved in the 2006 kidnapping of IDF Cpl. Gilad Schalit, who remains in captivity.


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