Hamas 'Foiled Carter Assassination Plot'

Source tells Haaretz militants targeted former prez
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 16, 2009 2:13 PM CDT
Former US president Jimmy Carter, left, sits with Ismail Haniyeh, head of Gaza's Hamas government, during their meeting in Haniyeh's office in Gaza City,Tuesday, June 16, 2009.   (AP Photo/Ashraf Amra)
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(Newser) – Hamas, the Palestinian group that rules the Gaza Strip, foiled an attempt by al-Qaeda-linked militants to assassinate Jimmy Carter, a source tells Haaretz. Hoping to kill the former president as his vehicle left Gaza, militants placed a pair of bombs at a border crossing. Witnesses say that they saw Hamas troops patrolling and detonating bombs near a crossing; but an official denies the source’s claim.

A Hamas spokesman said troops had just been carrying out routine work and weren’t aware of any assassination attempt. Carter was in Gaza to urge Hamas leaders to accept international conditions for lifting Gaza’s economic blockade. He also brought a letter for an Israeli soldier held by Palestinians since 2006.