Hamas publishes new daily paper in Gaza

First edition claims that Hamas gov't spent more than $150 m. in aid to those who lost homes in Cast Lead.

jordanian newspapers 298 (photo credit: AP)
jordanian newspapers 298
(photo credit: AP)
Hamas on Tuesday published the first edition of it's new daily newspaper in the Gaza Strip. The move came only days after the Islamic movement launched its first Web site with offices based in the West Bank which, according to a Hamas official, was developed with two goals in mind: To act as a mouth-piece for Hamas in the region and to document alleged human rights abuses carried out by PA President Mahmoud Abbas's security forces. The new paper is called Al-Ray (The Opinion) and is published by the Hamas-controlled Ministry of Information. The decision to publish a new newspaper came after the Hamas government imposed severe restrictions on the distribution of newspapers affiliated with the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. The first edition of Al-Ray carried a report that claimed the Hamas government has spent more than $150 million to provide shelter for Palestinian families whose homes were destroyed during Operation Cast Lead. The paper also reported that about 100 mosques had been destroyed during the war and that the cost of rebuilding them was $75 million. An exclusive interview with Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, was also carried in the paper, in which Haniyeh expressed support for the formation of a unity government with Fatah. He also called on Egypt to reopen the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip.