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A Stand Off        Thursday, December 6, 2001


The situation in Gaza was relatively calm today, 12/6. However last night, at about 12:00 midnight, we heard sounds of machine gun fire. Residents went out to balconies and windows to find out the source of machine gunfire. One could see, sometimes, a broken line of red lights across the dark sky because of fired bullets.

In the following morning, 12/6, news became clear that Palestinian Police units tried to arrest the spirtitual Hamas Leader, Sheikh Yassin. Palestinian Authority police faced resistance from Sheikh Yassin supporters.
As soon as the sound of gunfight broke out in the silent dark of the night, thousands of people headed twards the residence of the Hamas leader. They showed their support as many here in Gaza Strip consider the Sheikh a sympbol of national resistance against Israeli occupation.

The Police could not move one inch towards the leader's house as they watched thounsand of locals sorrounding premises of Mr. Yassin. As a matter of fact, three policemen were injured as supporters of the Sheikh fired machine guns at the advancing police officers. One Hamas supproter was killed. The Hamas leader is put under house arrest for now but police officers can go near the house.

During the day, 12/6, the city of Gaza has witnessed a relative calm as many political leaders of different parties met among themeselves to prevent any internal strive. The prevailing mood at the moment, in Gaza and West Bank, is to prevent any possible internal Palestinian division becasue that can only serve the interests of Israel and Sharon.

The coming days if not hours are very testing for the entire region. Many Palestinians see it as it is the pressure between American-Israeli demands and the will of the Palestinian people to regain full freedom and statehood.
Arafat is in an extermely sensitive position.

Best Regards from Gaza
Dec. 6th. 2001

B. Samed


-->JAPANESE




A segregated road as Palestinians can only use this half under the watching eye of military bunkers like the one shown in the back.
Between Gaza City and Khan Younis

Israeli army erected the above wall to separate part of the main road in Gaza strip between Jewish Settlers and local Palestinians. Notice the electric polls are on the separated side for settlers.

Happy is the country that has no history.

Israeli Soldiers ordering a Palestinian youth to strip down.
Gaza, Dec. 5th





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