Hamas Cracks Down on Fatah Media, Clashes With Islamic Jihad
Hamas continues to crack down on Fatah media in Gaza, and is engaging in violent clashes with Islamic Jihad as well. Jihad has disregarded new laws enacted by Hamas.
Hamas forces opened fire on an Islamic Jihad base of operation Wednesday night in response to the firing of weapons into the air by Islamic Jihad terrorists at a wedding the previous night. Hamas issued a directive after it took control of Gaza last month banning the firing of weapons in public.
The man who had fired his weapon Tuesday night fled the scene and was granted refuge in the home of a senior Islamic Jihad official. Hamas men surrounded the house, but did not attack, pending mediation.
Clashes ensued Wednesday between Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists and continued through the night. A rocket was then fired at the Islamic Jihad facility, wounding ten and killing one. Gun battles continued into the night despite an Islamic Jihad official’s insistence that he had resolved the situation immediately following the wedding.
Two more PA Arabs were killed Thursday in clashes between Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Islamic Jihad says the men were ambushed by Hamas terrorists while praying in a mosque. They were dragged out and one was shot in both legs and the other in the head. One died and the other was hospitalized. Fatah official Salah Al-Amoudi came out of the mosque shortly after and was shot dead as well.
A Hamas statement said that the clashes were due to Islamic Jihad terrorists’ refusal to hand over their weapons, as required by law since the Hamas takeover.
Hamas senior official Mahmoud A-Zahar and Islamic Jihad Gaza chief Mohammed Al-Hindi met overnight to attempt to calm the tensions between the two terror groups.
The Fatah-affiliated Palestine News Network reported other incidents that it attributes to rising tensions between the two groups. Last week, Hamas’s Executive Force detonated a bomb placed by Islamic Jihad along a road used by IDF vehicles. Hamas said the device was dangerous and could have detonated when PA Arabs were using the road as well.
Islamic Jihad also says Hamas has attacked its charitable institutions, in one case throwing a bomb at the Young Palestinian Women Society, which also includes a kindergarten. Hamas responded that it thought the facility belonged to Fatah.
Islamic Jihad says it objects to Hamas’s takeover of Gaza. Islamic Jihad declined to participate in the elections between Fatah and Hamas on the grounds that they constituted recognition of the Oslo Accords.
Hamas Closes Fatah Papers, Cancels Show
Hamas’s Ministry of Information cancelled a Fatah-affiliated political talk show, called Red Line. The show’s last episode discussed the legal aspects of Hamas’s takeover of the Palestinian Authority in Gaza.
Earlier this week, Hamas banned the distribution of Fatah-affiliated newspapers in Gaza, saying the papers incited against Hamas rule.
Money Israel Passed Goes to Hamas
Fatah Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said that all members of the PA, including Hamas officials would receive salaries from the millions of dollars in tax monies Israel passed to his bank accounts.
Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh rejected his salary Wednesday, mailing the check back to Fayyad with a claim that Fatah was trying to bribe and blackmail Hamas.
Meanwhile, in Judea and Samaria, Hamas has issued an ultimatum, demanding the release of all Hamas prisoners by Fatah, or else it will launch a full-scale war on Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority.
A Fatah-controlled prison in Shechem was already bombed earlier this week.