Palestinians condemn attacks on Gaza Crazy Water resort

September 20, 2010 10:36 am 

by Emad Drimly, Saud Abu Ramadan

GAZA, Sept. 20 (PNA/Xinhua) — Militants raided tourism facilities and set fire to a restaurant in the outskirts of Gaza city on Sunday, which is the third such attack this year.

Alladein al-Araj, a board member of Gaza Crazy Water resort, told Xinhua that about 40 militants stormed the resort, broke its front gate by force, and injured several guards. The militants set fire to a restaurant, the management offices and a three-floor building, he added.

It is an awful attack to obstruct the development of tourism in the Gaza Strip, al-Araj said.

On May 23 and June 28, unknown militants burned two summer camps sponsored by the United Nations Relief and Work Agency ( UNRWA). Observers said that the attacks revealed conflicts between Hamas and the United Nations.

Ihan al-Ghussein, spokesman for the interior ministry of the deposed government of Hamas which rules the Gaza Strip, said the action of burning the resort of Crazy Water "is a criminal act," and the government has carried out investigations.

Al-Araj, former finance minister of the national unity government headed by Hamas, said that the government ordered to close the resort, owned by a group of investors, on Sept. 15.

The deposed government closed the resort for three days in August and called off a party to be held there saying holding such parties contradicts with the Islamic traditions and rules of the society in the Gaza Strip.

Al-Araj said the attorney general of the deposed government of Hamas should be responsible for burning the resort of Crazy Water, adding that "the attorney general took the decision to close the resort without offering any kind of protection."

Crazy Water resort was destroyed as tensions between the owners of restaurants, coffee shops and hotels and the government of Hamas rose following the government's harassment actions against the tourism facilities.

The most recent action of the Hamas government is the closure of an restaurant on Gaza city's seaside.

An order signed by the director of the Hamas police in Gaza was sent to the hotel's management, saying the restaurant would be closed for three days "because the management of the hotel was not abide by the terms and laws which prohibit mixture between males and females and holding parties."

In mid May, Hamas announced that women are not allowed to smoke water pipes in public places. The decision has provoked debate among people living in the enclave on whether the Hamas government seeks to Islamize the community and restrict public freedoms.

Gaza-based rights groups said that the attack on Crazy Water resort is linked to the government's decision to prevent women from smoking water pipes. They called on the Hamas government to respect the law and stop "such suffocative actions that tied the public freedoms of the people."

The Hamas movement, considered as a moderate Islamic movement that has been ruling the Gaza Strip since June 2007, is accused of trying to Islamize the Gaza Strip.

Hamas is trying to relax pressure of other radical Islamic groups on it, some observers said. (PNA/Xinhua)

ALM/ebp

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