October 6, 2009 - 12:00am

The Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip have arrested over the last two days a number of Palestinian militants planning to fire rockets at western Israel, Al-Sharq Al-Awsat reported Tuesday.

The report quoted group sources as saying Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh has organized a crackdown against Palestinian factions to curb the attacks against Israel.

Hamas has warned the factions not to fire rockets under any circumstances, according to the report, even in response to Israeli measures at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

The reported crackdown comes following publication of the Goldstone Commission's investigation into Israel's offensive on the Gaza Strip earlier this year.

The commission, which was sponsored by the United Nations Human Rights Council, accused both Hamas and Israel of war crimes during the conflict. Palestinian rocket fire into southern Israel "may amount to crimes against humanity" as the militants failed to distinguish between civilians and soldiers, causing "terror."

In a 547-page report, the mission said both Israeli and Palestinian authorities must engage in "good faith, independent proceedings" to investigate their own sides within six months, or the UN Security Council should refer the case to the International Criminal Court's prosecutor in The Hague.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017