GAZA, April 1 (Reuters) - Brandishing "the sword of Islam", a Palestinian boy stabbed U.S. President George W. Bush to death in a new puppet show for children aired by Hamas-owned television in the Gaza Strip.
"You are a criminal, Bush, a despicable man. You made me an orphan. You deprived me of everything," said the hand-held puppet, representing a child and accusing the U.S. president of killing his family in Iraq and in Gaza in collusion with Israel.
The programme was broadcast on Hamas’s al-Aqsa television, which has used puppets and cartoon characters in the past to illustrate the Islamist movement’s battle against Israel and opposition to U.S. support for the Jewish state.
No one was available at the station to comment on the show.
"I must take my revenge with the sword of Islam," the puppet-child said, stabbing the Bush puppet several times in the chest and ignoring pleas of "I repent, just don’t kill me" — and an invitation to a toy-filled White House.
"I killed him," the puppet said, accusing Bush of being "impure" and vowing the White House would be turned into a mosque.
Last year, al-Aqsa television aired a programme starring a Mickey Mouse clone, Farfur, who urged children to fight Israel in the name of Islam. Farfur was killed off, on-air, by an actor posing as an Israeli security agent.
Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, is shunned by the United States over its refusal to recognise Israel, renounce violence and accept existing interim Israeli-Palestinian peace deals.
The group has accused the United States of backing Israeli military action in the Gaza Strip, attacks against militants that have at times caused civilian casualties. (Writing by Nidal al-Mughrabi, Editing by Sami Aboudi)