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Friday, July 31, 2009

Hamas threatens to overthrow PA

Bubbling beneath the surface, the animosity between Fatah and Hamas is increasing every week.

For a while they were holding unification talks in Cairo, but the talks went nowhere and even though they have not been officially called off, recent weeks has seen an uptick of rhetoric and tit-for-tat arrests, with the background of the Fatah conference next week.

Hamas has been systematically arresting Fatah members that want to go to the conference and is refusing any Fatah members from leaving Gaza. (Interestingly, Israel is allowing Fatah members to attend from many Arab countries, including Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and even Syria.) The PA offered to release a number of Hamas members to facilitate the coference, although it is unclear if they did.

The rhetoric became more severe today as a Hamas leader said that the coup that happened in Gaza could be repeated in the West Bank. The leader, whose name seems to be al-Raquob, led a rally in Khan Younis accusing the PA of collaborating with Israel and the US. He said repeatedly that Fatah leaders have not "learned the lessons of Gaza" and that Hamas could take over the West Bank if the PA remains set in its ways.

This is, of course, only one of the major obstacles to peace that Americans and Europeans seem not to grasp at all.