Gaza

Hamas, Fatah begin fourth round of unity talks in Cairo

Hamas, Fatah begin fourth round of unity talks in Cairo Gaza City/Cairo - Rival Palestinian factions of Hamas and Fatah began a fourth round of Egyptian-brokered unity talks in Cairo Monday. The latest round of talks comes amid renewed US efforts to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and US special envoy George Mitchell recently completed diplomatic tours of the region, and US President Barack Obama last week met with Jordan's King Abdallah in Washington.

Hamas hints at extending its term in Palestinian parliament

HAMASGaza City - A senior Hamas leader hinted Thursday that the radical Islamist movement would extend its term in the Palestinian parliament if no agreement was reached with the rival Fatah party.

If an agreement was reached before January 2010, when the term of the current Hamas-dominated parliament expires, the elections would take place that month, "but if the agreement is not reached before January 25, then we will communicate with the factions to endorse a new period," said Mahmoud Zahar, a Hamas leader based in the Gaza Strip.

Police shoot dead Bedouin suspected of running arms for Gaza

Police shoot dead Bedouin suspected of running arms for Gaza Cairo/Rafah - Egyptian police shot dead a Bedouin in the northern Sinai on Saturday, with the man found to be driving a truck loaded with munitions and heading for Gaza, a security official told the German Press Agency dpa. Both sides exchanged fire in the incident some 40 kilometres west of the city of Arish.

In a separate development, security sources disclosed that security forces have arrested five people with five million Egyptian pounds (some 1 million dollars) which they were planning to smuggle to Gaza through tunnels in Rafah.

Hamas to begin removing Gaza war rubble next week

Hamas to begin removing Gaza war rubble next week Gaza - Hamas authorities in the Gaza Strip will begin removing the debris and rubble from December-January's 22-day conflict with Israel next week, the movement's public works minister said on Saturday.

"Next week will witness the beginning of removal of the debris of the houses that were demolished during the aggression," said Yousef al-Manssi, Hamas' public works minister. "The government will rebuild the houses with new designs."

"The government opens the door for anyone who wants to help," he added.

Israeli fire kills two Gaza fighters

Israeli fire kills two Gaza fightersGaza  - Palestinian medics on Saturday confirmed that two fighters were killed during armed clashes with Israeli forces in the northeast of the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli army also confirmed that its forces killed two militants said to have been planting bombs near the security fence that separates between Israeli and Palestinian territories in the east of Jabaliya refugee camp.

Earlier, the medical sources were unable to confirm reports that the two fighters had died.

Two militants wounded in Gaza border clashes

Two militants wounded in Gaza border clashesGaza  - Two Palestinian militants were wounded Saturday morning during armed clashes with Israeli forces in the northeast of the Gaza Strip, Palestinian medics said.

"At least two citizens were injured in the east of Jabaliya refugee camp and the ambulance crews cannot reach them," said Mu'awia Hassanein, a health emergency official.

Witnesses said that the exchange of fire erupted when Israeli forces rolled for nearly 200 metres into the Palestinian territories in northeast Gaza Strip.

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