Hamas Leader Escapes Assassination Attempt


Palestinian prime minister, Hamas leader Ismail Haniya escaped an assassination attempt yesterday.

Haniya was unhurt after his convoy came under heavy gunfire in Gaza, witnesses and Hamas officials said.

He had just finished making a speech at a Gaza mosque.

A car in his convoy was set alight during the incident in the Nusseirat refugee camp.

Hamas and Fatah leaders were due to meet in Cairo this weekend in negotiations to try to end the political stalemate and to form a Palestinian national unity government in the Palestine National Authority.

they will also discuss the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was taken as a prisoner of war by Palestinian fighters in June.

Meanwhile, Palestinian security officials said Israeli occupation troops and tanks have moved into the border town of Rafah and have taken over a section of the frontier, including the area around the Rafah border terminal.

Israeli tanks and infantry have taken up positions on the Egypt-Gaza border, killing two Palestinians, the sources added yesterday.

Medical workers reported that Israeli soldiers killed two Hamas members, saying that they approached Israeli army positions in Rafah.

Hamas said in a statement that one of the two was a senior militant involved in Shalit’s capture.

Palestinian officials said Israeli troops were carrying out house-to-house searches, with bulldozers levelling agricultural land near the border.

Israeli troops also surrounded the Rafah border terminal, where about 60 Palestinian security personnel remain inside, the officials said.

The crossing, the only land passage from Gaza to the outside world without passing through Israel, has been closed most of the time since the capture of the Israeli soldier in June.