Factional Fighting Clouds Gaza's Future

(Washington Post) Since September 2000, a handful of armed groups fighting Israel have also fought one another for dominance in the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian Authority, given responsibility for governing Gaza a decade ago, runs a dozen security agencies whose members shoot at rivals - and each other - every few weeks. The armed branches of Hamas and Islamic Jihad assert their power and increasingly are beyond PA control. Independent armed gangs also roam the streets, imposing their will. As Israel contemplates a unilateral withdrawal from Gaza, "Hamas and the warlords are the ones who will decide what will happen," said Palestinian pollster and analyst Khalil Shikaki.

2004-07-06 00:00:00

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