Ma'an News Agency
February 3, 2011 - 1:00am

Major General Tawfiq At-Tirawi, former director of the PA general intelligence and Fatah Central Committee member called Wednesday in a statement for the people of Gaza to rise up in revolt against the Hamas government.

The people of Gaza, he said, should take their cue from Egypt and call for the end of the "dictatorship that restricts their freedoms."

At-Tirawi's statement is widely believed to be a response to the new group on the social networking site Facebook, Preparation for the Dignity Revolution, which calls for a mass rally in Gaza City on 11 February.

The group, created on 28 January, has 8,316 supporters, many from the West Bank. In its mission statement, unidentified organizers say they are not affiliated with any political party, but accuse Hamas of "implementing a Zionist-Iranian plan."

Its statement lays out five points:

1. This page is not affiliated to any party or religion but it is working for Palestinians
2. Friday 11 February will be the day the Palestinian people say no to division and yes to national unity, they will stand in the face of the challenges facing the Palestinian cause
3. We call on Hamas to stop its coup and go back seriously and immediately to reconciliation to unite again with our people
4. Overthrow the unjust government in Gaza by coordination with the rest of the national parties in the Palestinian arena
5. Initiate an intifada against the current situation in Gaza. A peaceful intifada to say yes to unity and enough to the emirate of darkness.

For his part, the former intelligence official in Ramallah said "I will always call for freedom and liberty, and I appreciate the youth who use internet and Facebook to interact for a better life."

In Gaza, Hamas leader Salah Al-Bardawil told reporters that neither the social networking group nor At-Tirawi's statements would at all shake the resolve of the Gaza government.

"Gaza is a revolution itself, a beacon to the Arab world," the official said, and calling on West Bank leaders to end their security coordination with Israel.


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