Hamas Coup Feared in PA

PA fear Hamas is about to stage a coup. “Fatah trained men to fight against Israel and now they kill them,” says the mother of a Hamas terrorist.

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu,

Kalkilya: Calm before the storm?
Kalkilya: Calm before the storm?
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Arabs in Kalkilya, adjacent to the Tel Aviv metropolitan area, fear that Hamas will stage a coup similar to the one on Gaza two years ago, residents and political leaders told the American National Public Radio (NPR) network.

“The Hamas leadership wants to take over [Judea and Samaria] and the proof is that they have discovered large weapons cache right here in Kalkilya in Hamas areas,” Kalkilya’s Fatah representative Ahmed Shreen told NPR.

He dismissed unity talks between the rival Fatah and Hamas factions as being remote. “What I am worried about is that while we are talking in Cairo, Hamas will be planning the coup." The terrorist organization, which won the Palestinian Authority legislative elections in 2006 while the rival Fatah party won the position of chairman, has constantly charged Fatah with

Most citizens were too afraid to express their opinions in public but said privately they fear an all-out war.

Interviews with local officials and residents were conducted on the background of two recent gun battles, one of which killed four gunmen from each side in Kalkilya. One of the victims was the nephew of the mayor of the city, where Hamas handily defeated Fatah in local elections.

The mother of one of the slain Hamas terrorists said that Fatah trained her son and they turned against him. "Fatah is the foundation of the resistance in Palestinian society,” she said. Now they have sold out and they have betrayed the young men who followed them. This is what happened to my son. I thought he would die in battle with Israelis, not by Palestinian Authority forces.”

Hamas spokesman Ihab Al-Ghussain told NPR, “They are continuously arresting our men. They committed an awful crime against a group that was fighting Israel for more than six years. The Israelis could not capture them so the PA security forces did the Israelis’ dirty work and assassinated them.”

Many of those interviewed viewed the PA as trying to please U.S. President Barack Obama by showing that its American-trained forces are fighting terrorism. The PA and the United States have used the drop in terrorist attacks against Israel as a tool to force the Defense Ministry to remove blockades and eliminate most checkpoints.

Officials in Judea and Samaria fear that the U.S. has bought an illusion that will literally explode in Israel’s collective faces in the future, similar to the years of violence that began in 2000 after the PA rejected an offer to accept a new PA state.