Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The beast continues to fall apart...riot in Palestinian parliament, Hamas minister caught at border with $20M

Money? What money? Ohhhhh...that money!

The Beast continues to fall apart, as Fatah riots hit the Palestinian parliament again and the Hamas foreign minister was caught at the border by Fatah loyalists with $20 million in suitcases.

Today in Ramallah during a parliament session, dozens of Fatah protesters broke into the chamber and forcing the Speaker Abdel Aziz Duaik, to flee the building. He left the hall under heavy guard shortly before the crowd burst in. "I’m not coming back until they leave," he said as he rushed out.

"We are hungry. We are hungry," the protesters screamed. "Haniyeh (the Hamas Prime Minister), go home!"

During the riot, some demonstrators climbed onto desks chanting anti-government slogans and security thugs were called in to break up scuffles and restore order.

To add to the festivities, Mahmoud al-Zahar, the Palestinian Foreign Minister, was stopped crossing into Gaza at Rafah by members of Arafat's old bodyguard Force 17 loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas. He was carrying $20 million cash in 7 suitcases....

al-Zahar just got back from Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, China, Pakistan, Iran and Egypt on a fundraising tour in recent weeks.

He's the third Hamas official to transit the Rafah crossing into the Gaza Strip carry large amounts of cash recently. Last month, a Hamas lawmaker carried $4.5 M in notes over the border. Before him, the Hamas spokesman delivered $800,000. Rather than paying civil servants or being used for aid, the cash is covering arms purchases and the wages of Hamas’s militiamen and private security force.

And that, of course, are just the three we know about. Apparently al-Zaher and the money was released, after Abbas made arrangements for a suitable `tax' on it.

Lovely people, no?

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