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Hamas to Bar Jericho Casino Reopening

20 February 2006

JERICHO -- As reported by the Jerusalem Post: "Hamas is planning to prevent the casino in Jericho from ever opening again soon after it forms the new Palestinian Authority cabinet, sources close to the Islamic movement said over the weekend.

"Oasis Casino, which was opened in 1998, is the only casino in the PA areas.

"Owned by Casinos Austria, the casino was shut shortly after the beginning of the intifada in September 2000. For years it was regarded as one of the prominent symbols of corruption in the PA because some of the money went into the bank accounts of senior PA leaders.

"...Hamas and other Islamic groups were strongly opposed to the opening of the casino in 1998. The PA leadership then justified the move by arguing that only Israelis and westerners would be permitted to enter the casino..."

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