Hamas and Fatah: Unholy War

Hamas accuses Fatah of cooperating with Israel and betraying PA national interests, while Fatah says Hamas carries out daily atrocities in Gaza.

Hillel Fendel ,

Hamas officials have threatened Mahmoud Abbas, leader of Fatah and Chairman of the Palestinian Authority, with murder if he dares to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.  They also say that Prime Minister Olmert's goodwill gestures to Abbas prove Fatah's complicity in treason against the Arabs of Gaza.

Fatah leaders, for their part, accuse Hamas of daily atrocities in Gaza, and blame their rivals for the deterioration in Gaza.

Though Israel has signed agreements recognizing the Palestinian Authority as the political leadership of the Arabs of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, it is no longer clear who the Palestinian Authority is.  Hamas, which beat Fatah in the January, 2006 elections, took over Gaza from Fatah and threatens to do the same in Judea and Samaria. Hamas accuses Fatah of betrayal of national interests and cooperation with Israel

Hamas and Fatah Trade Accusations and Warnings
Furthermore, Hamas warns Abbas to cease pursuing the "resistance activists" - its nomenclature for "terrorists" - and says that its members must treat the Fatah security forces as they would an enemy.  Abbas may not cede even an iota of "Muslim rights in
Jerusalem" during the Annapolis conference if he wants to remain safe, the Hamas leaders threaten.

Fatah, for its part, has much against Hamas. Fatah spokesman Ahmed Abdel Rahman was quoted in Al Quds Al-Arabiye on Monday as accusing Hamas of perpetrating daily atrocities in Gaza, including targeted killings and arrests.  Hamas is also accused of defacing, for the third time, the gravesite of a Fatah activist who was lynched by Hamas. 

A-Zahar Threatens, Fatah Responds
Hamas leader Mahmoud A-Zahar threatened last week that Hamas would do to Judea and Samaria what it did to Gaza - namely, conquer it from Fatah.  The Fatah spokesman responded by calling A-Zahar a "stain" on Hamas, and advising "courageous Hamas members to ask him the tough questions about how he has caused Hamas to deteriorate, and tell him to go to hell."  Rahman said that A-Zahar and his gang are "ignorant men who think the whole world runs from Rafiah [in the south of Gaza] to Biet Lahiya [in northern Gaza], and that it is possible to establish an Islamic state in the Gaza Strip."

Fatah spokesman Rahman also accused the Al-Jazeera television network of aiding Hamas.  "But this will not save Hamas from its destiny," he added, "because its actions are in opposition to Palestinian national interests and values."

Hamas Says Olmert's Gestures Prove Fatah Treachery
Hamas has another avenue of attack against Fatah as well - using Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's goodwill gestures as its ammunition.  The PA's Maan news agency reports Hamas fury against the "gestures that
Israel is granting Fatah men when they travel from Gaza to the West Bank - while the rest of the Gaza population remains under Israeli siege."
Arab-affairs experts warned against Olmert's goodwill gestures, saying they would boomerang

It was reported just this week that a Gaza man had died of cancer because he was not permitted to enter Israel.  Hamas spokesman Fuzy Barhoum says the Israeli entry permits supplied to Fatah are evidence of "the extent of the plot against the Palestinian nation in general and those in Gaza in particular."

Fatah's acceptance of the Israeli goodwill gestures are considered "consent to the policy of oppression and siege, perpetrated by Israel to create internal pressure on the Hamas leadership in Gaza."

Experts' Warnings Proved True
Arutz-7's Shimon Cohen notes that many experts warned against Olmert's goodwill gestures, saying they would boomerang.  Though Olmert long explained that he wished to strengthen and prop up Abbas and the 'moderate' camp within the Palestinian public, experts on Arab affairs stated this would actually lead to Abbas being portrayed as a collaborator with the "Zionist enemy."