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Nasrallah, Haniyeh offer support to families of slain Bethlehem fighters

March 15, 2008 11:23 A.M. (Updated: March 15, 2008 11:23 A.M.)
Bethlehem - Ma'an - The office of Hassan Nasrallah, the Secretary-General of Hizbullah, placed a telephone call on Friday afternoon to the widow of Palestinian fighter Mohammad Shahada, who was assassinated by Israeli forces with three other Palestinians on Wednesday.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, also the de facto Prime Minister of the Gaza Strip, personally called the families of the dead.

Shahada's widow said that Nasrallah's staff vowed that Hizbullah would 'never give up on Palestine or the martyrs.'

Hizbullah also pledged financial support for the families of those killed by the Israeli occupation.

Haniyeh, according to the family of one of the men, said that "the blood of the martyrs will not be spilled without a price." Haniyeh pledged to rebuild Shahada's family house, which was destroyed by Israeli bulldozers the week before his assassination. Haniyeh is said to have reaffirmed his commitment to the unity of the Palestinian people in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Shahada and Haniyeh spent two years together in Marj Az Zohour, in southern Lebanon, after they were deported by Israel in 1992.

At Thursday's funeral, the four fighters were wrapped in the yellow flag of Hizbullah, considered a sign of the group's growing influence in the occupied Palestinian territories.

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