Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement is marching hand-in-hand with Hamas, which has offered the movement, founded by Yasser Arafat, “to put our hands together and carry the gun.”
The rift between the two rival factions seemed irreparable in 2007, when Hamas ousted the Fatah leadership from Gaza in a bloody militia war of both sides’ terrorist wings, which they say exist for “armed resistance."
After years of failed efforts to settle a power struggle and re-unite, Hamas’ diplomatic victory after Israel’s Pillar of Defense counterterrorist operation last month, and Abbas’ move for implicit recognition by the United Nations, changed the course.
Fatah and Hamas fought side-by-side in the missile war against Israel, according to Hanan al-Qassas, the Gaza-based chief of Fatah's Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, quoted by he Bethlehem-based Ma'an news agency.
The ceasefire after Pillar of Defense elevated Hamas to a diplomatic position of direct negotiations with Egypt and which were accepted by Israel as well as the United States, where Hamas is officially designated as an illegal terrorist organization.
Hamas then reversed course and accepted Abbas' UN ploy, adding that it was a step towards taking over all of Israel as “Palestine.”
The unity took another step forward this week with Hamas welcoming back to Gaza 12 Fatah “militia men,” one of whom told Ma'an,"We are strugglers; we left for blood not to be shed and today we come back to our homeland after five years."
Senior Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar on Monday said at a ceremony on Monday, "Come to the program of resistance and stop wasting time and efforts, let’s put our hands together and carry the gun.
"I tell Fatah members, those who want to participate on the ride of the victors and who want to celebrate and feel that he’s honored and carry the gun, we open our arms to them on the basis of resistance and to liberate Palestine, all Palestine, and those who want to do different than this we tell them we know our way, which is to Jerusalem.”
The call to unity for terror, or what the Palestinian Authority calls “resistance,” is in direct opposition to what the international community and mainstream media call Abbas’ carefully planned diplomatic route to achieve his political and territorial demands after years of gaining “goodwill” concessions from Israel.
However, Abbas has simultaneously told Arab language media and Arab demonstrators that he backs “resistance.” He also has eulogized suicide bombers.