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Gaza Smuggling Tunnel Building Continues
Jul. 28, 2009 - Gaza Strip, Gaza - A Palestinian smuggler enters a tunnel on the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt. A Palestinian man was killed and another one injured early Tuesday in a new tunnel collapse incident in southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah.
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Why A Morsi Execution Could Risk Civil War In Egypt
    Text by Mada Masr - Cairo - When the Egyptian regime carried out the hanging of six defendants in the Arab Sharkas case, it was sending a clear message to former President Mohamed Morsi, a day after a Cairo court sentenced the former leader and another 106 people to death. Such is the interpretation of events in the capital by attorney Ahmed Helmy, who represented some of the Arab Sharkas defendants.

The six men were accused members of the militant group formerly known as Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, and had been sentenced to death last October. As for Morsi and the other defendants, the court handed them a death sentence on charges of prison break. But execution in Morsi's case would have heavy political and security implications.

'A decision of the sort is not in the best interest of the country's security, or the daily life of citizens,' says Abdel Latif al-Bedeiny, former deputy interior minister. 'It will only open the door to more violence, which will worsen the conflict between both parties.' Commenting on one of the major flaws commonly cited in the case, he adds, 'I do not want to comment on a judicial verdict, but having deceased Palestinians among those convicted raises big question marks.'

Among the Palestinians convicted alongside Morsi are Hassan Salama, a detainee in Israeli prisons since 1996; Tayssir Abou Sneema, who was killed by Israeli forces in 2009; Hossam al-Sanei, who was killed in 2008; and Raed al-Attar, founder of the Qassam Brigades, also killed by Israel in the last attack in Gaza.

Ahmed Ban, a researcher on Islamic movements, agrees. 'I cannot imagine a sane authority would carry out these verdicts,' he says 'Taking that step would open the door for a civil war.' Ban, a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood, adds, 'Carrying out these verdicts means that we have reached the final stage of the confrontation between the Brotherhood and the state, which goes against the history of this conflict. The state has always managed to maintain a balance between confrontation and political settlement with the group. Even if the confrontation seems to now be at its peak, there is room for political settlement.'
Credit Image: Li Muzi/Xinhua/
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