Israel to send Gaza refugees to Jericho


Israel will send to Jericho about 160 Palestinians who were permitted to escape from Gaza over the weekend.

The decision comes after 30 of the pro-Fatah Palestinians returned to Gaza late Sunday at the request of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas were immediately arrested by Hamas, though most were released Monday.

Israel allowed entry Saturday to scores of Palestinians fleeing a Hamas factional crackdown in the Gaza Strip in which Hamas gunmen attacked the Gaza City stronghold of the Hilles clan, which is close to Abbas.

At least 11 people were killed in the ensuing clash. Surviving Fatah loyalists, still under Hamas fire, rushed to the Israeli border. Israel allowed in as many as 200 of the Palestinians. Several dozen were returned Sunday to Gaza at Abbas’ request. Some of the injured Palestinians remain in Israeli hospitals.

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel appealed to Israel’s supreme court on Sunday to order the state not to send the pro-Fatah Palestinians who requested political asylum by crossing the border back to Gaza, calling it “one of the most severe human rights violations.”

The latest purge against Fatah began after a bomb planted by unidentified Palestinians killed five Hamas gunmen in Gaza City.


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