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Sunday, January 01, 2012

More problems between Hamas and Fatah

Last week, I quoted a Palestine Press Agency article alleging that there were serious problems between the Hamas leadership in Damascus and Gaza, with the Khaled Meshal trying to sabotage Gaza leader Ismail Haniyeh's world tour and stopping Arab and Islamic leaders from meeting with him.

That story, which I initially believed, started to fall apart pretty fast, as Haniyeh and Meshal met in the Sudan along with Sudan's president. Today Haniyeh is meeting with Turkey's president Erdogan.

So how did Palestine Press Agency get it so wrong?

According to Hamas, leaked documents that they reproduce show that this misinformation was deliberately planted by Fatah in order to make Haniyeh's tour fail. All the details in the PalPress story are listed in these secret Fatah documents.

Which means that while Fatah and Hamas make nice in public, they are continuing to scheme against each other behind the scenes.

I showed last week that Hamas has been arresting scores of Fatah leaders in Gaza. Now Hamas is accusing Fatah of doing the same, with the arrest of a 57-year old Hamas leader and sheikh in Qalqilya today.

It has taken years for Hamas to solidify its hold on Gaza. They succeeded; their power there is pretty much absolute. No one is seriously talking about combining the security forces of Fatah and Hamas in the West Bank and Gaza, and it is inconceivable that such an action will take place in the foreseeable future. Hamas is not about to accept as equals the people they were throwing off of buildings a few years ago.

Without a single security force, there is no real unity, no matter how many photo-ops we see of Abbas and Meshal smiling together. The only chance of "unity" is if Hamas engineers a total takeover.

Given the inertia of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and elsewhere, that is a very real possibility.