Did Gaza’s “Soldiers of God” call for “Action” against Blair?

Comment at end

16th July, 2008

Web: Palestinian-Islamist group says Tony Blair not welcome in Gaza

Was this call to arms from a group calling themselves the “Soldiers of God” the threat which caused Blair to cancel at the last minute his first trip to Gaza as peace envoy?

Group calling itself ‘Soldiers of God’ issues internet statement slamming Hamas’ agreement to host visit be Mideast Quartet envoy Tony Blair, say it’s ‘inconceivable that group would host one of the pillars of the war against Muslims’

Israel News

A Palestinian-Islamist group calling itself “Soldiers of God” claimed that “criminals like (Mideast Quartet envoy) Blair are not welcome a Gaza,” the Monitoring Centre of Islamist websites reported Tuesday.

The group’s statement was published on the Islamist website al-Hesbah, known to be used by various radical Islamist groups such as al-Qaeda.

The group’s statement criticized Hamas for having accepted Blair’s visit in Gaza, even though it was eventually cancelled.

Better Safe
Blair cancels Gaza visit due to threats / Associated Press
Special Quartet envoy to Mideast postpones what would have been first ever visit by senior Western diplomat to Hamas-ruled Gaza, citing ‘a specific security threat’
Full story

“It is inconceivable that the Islamist movement could host one of the pillars of the war against Muslims,” said the statement.

“Oh Jund Allah (“Soldiers of God), we want deeds, not words. The enemy of Allah will be at (the northern Gaza Strip town of) Beit Lahiya for three hours tomorrow. We want actions, not words,” it added.

Blair’s visit to the Gaza Strip was cancelled on the eve before he was supposed to arrive in Gaza, due to what his spokesperson called specific threats to his safety: “Unfortunately, we had to cancel the visit because of specific threats, as a matter of security,” spokesperson Ruti Winterstein told AFP.

A source at the Shin Bet told AFP that the Israeli security service advised Blair that fresh intelligence indicated that his convoy was to be targeted by a terror groups once it arrived at Erez crossing.

Hamas, however, has claimed that the Quartet’s representative cancelled his visit due to Israeli pressure, adding in a press release that the group, which ruled the Gaza Strip, had taken “all the necessary security measures for Mr. Blair’s visit.”

Had it materialized, the visit would have been Blair’s first to the Strip since he was appointed a head of the Quartet’s Mideast mission in June of 2007.

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2 Responses to “Did Gaza’s “Soldiers of God” call for “Action” against Blair?”

  1. Tony Blair Gaza Trip Cancelled - Who’s Afraid of Whom or What? « Tony Blair Says:

    […] Did online “Soldiers of God” call for “action not words” against Blair? […]

  2. Pro-Al Qaeda group planned to kill Blair & Carter, in June visits to Gaza « Tony Blair Says:

    […] may recall the first time Mr Blair attempted to visit Gaza as Middle East peace envoy on 15th July 2008 (also reported here.) Hamas, for reasons best known to itself, had released a press release the day […]

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