Hamas emergency decree limits movements to avoid attacks

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

GAZA CITY The Hamas movement has issued orders meant to prevent Israeli air strikes, after two of its chief operatives were killed in a three-day period,.

The Hamas orders, published in a communique released on late Monday, bans a range of activities by members. They include driving in privately-owned vehicles and conversing on telephones.

The communique cited the recent Israeli helicopter missile strikes on cars that contain senior Hamas insurgents. Hamas also asserted that Israel will attempt to kill other senior members of the movement over the next few weeks.

Overnight Tuesday, Hamas gunners continued to fire rockets and mortars toward Israeli civilian and military positions in the Gaza Strip, Middle East Newsline reported. Israeli military sources said 11 mortars and an anti-tank missile were fired. Nobody was reported injured. The Hamas orders were meant to restrict the movement and activities of senior operatives. The insurgency group banned the use of private vehicles for the transportation of Hamas members. Instead, the insurgents were ordered to use taxis or other means of public transportation.

In addition, the communique directed that any vehicle must not contain more than two Hamas members. In virtually all of the recent Israeli strikes, the Hamas target was surrounded by several of his bodyguards or aides.

Other instructions call for a ban on cellular and regular phones. Hamas operatives were also ordered to leave their homes and go underground.

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