Hamas-Allied Fatah Forces in Gaza

[New York Times] Steven Erlanger - Palestinians never used to do these things to one another. Putting bullets in the back of the heads of men on their knees. Shooting up hospitals. Killing patients. Knee-capping doctors. Executing clerics. Throwing handcuffed prisoners to their deaths from Gaza's highest apartment buildings. Hamas claimed it was fighting infidels, with a holy sanction to kill. Poor young men, their heads filled with religious slogans and revolutionary cant, took off their black masks to pose in front of the gilded bathrooms of the once-powerful and rich men of Fatah. Then they stole the sinks, toilets, tiles and pipes. Khaled Abu Hilal, 39, is an ex-Fatah man now associated with Hamas in Gaza. Two weeks after Hamas pulled Fatah down in early June, Hilal announced he would lead a new Fatah movement and military force in Gaza, allied with Hamas, called Fatah al-Yasir. The major mistake of Arafat and Fatah was to accept the Oslo accords, Hilal says. Hilal brought with him, he told me, 1,000 members of the Fatah-affiliated Aksa and Abu Rish Brigades. (The Israeli security agency, Shin Bet, confirmed this information to me.) Israel is now confronted with a dilemma. There is a hostile entity on its southern border, run by an armed group that is committed to fighting Israel and is opposed to its existence. Should Israel now let a Gazan Hamastan grow?

2007-07-17 01:00:00

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