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Tensions Between Hamas and Fatah Over Shalit Deal

Fatah accuses Hamas of ensuring that its own terrorists will be released from prison, while leaving Fatah terrorists jailed.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 10/17/2011, 10:17 AM

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas
Flash 90

The deal between Israel and Hamas for the release of Gilad Shalit has heightened the tensions between Hamas and Fatah, it was reported on Sunday.

The Fatah movement, which is headed by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, is reportedly deeply disappointed with the treatment it received in the deal from Hamas, which conducted the negotiations with Israel.

Fatah is reportedly angry that Hamas took care almost exclusively of its own men and ensured that they will be released from prison as part of the exchange, while leaving the “heavy” Fatah terrorists behind bars. One of these terrorists is Fatah member and arch-terrorist Marwan Barghouti.

Fatah is viewing this move by Hamas as another step against the recently signed reconciliation agreement between the factions.

The agreement between Hamas, which rules Gaza, and Fatah, which rules in Judea and Samaria, was signed in May. The agreement called for a formation of a unity government, but it has stalled over a leadership row.

Last week, Fatah leader Azzam al-Ahmad said that impromptu talks with Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal in Cairo led him to believe “reconciliation talks” would begin “soon.”

Al-Ahmad, who heads the Fatah delegation in talks with Hamas, said the meeting was arranged at the last minute as the officials happened to be in the Egyptian capital.