West Bank Hardball: Fatah's Offensive Against Hamas

[Washington Institute for Near East Policy] Jeffrey White - Fatah and the PA have waged an effective campaign against Hamas' political, economic, and military position in the West Bank. As long as Israeli security forces remain in the West Bank, a Hamas seizure of power there is effectively impossible. Yet Hamas retains the ability to act violently against the PA and to use the West Bank as a launchpad for terrorist attacks within Israel to embarrass and undermine the PA. Hamas is better led and has greater organizational skills than Fatah. Above all, Hamas is capable of taking the long view, and is unlikely to give up its struggle with the PA, even as it pursues tactical accommodations to relieve short-term difficulties. The expansion of the PA's West Bank capacity is critical to any progress in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. The PA must be seen as a real alternative that is worth supporting.

2008-12-10 08:00:00

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