By Micah HalpernI've Been Thinking:
Hamas police brutally beat up on and then broke up a rally of Fatah supporters in Khan Yunis today. People were injured and people were arrested. They twenty people who were arrested were released only after signing a document saying that they would never again participate in illegal gatherings.
The rally was a memorial and show of support for those who died fighting (against Israel).
The rally did not have a permit - and that was the reason given for breaking it up.
The entire episode shows the important distinctions and tensions that exist between Hamas and Fatah, the two largest Palestinian groups. Ever since the parliamentary election of 2006, when Hamas won the plurality but Abbas and the PA never permitted them to assume their elected, role there have been violent tensions between the groups. That includes the 2007 brutal and murderous coup that ousted the PA from Gaza.
There have been attempts at reconciliation. And agreements have been signed. The latest agreement was signed in 2012, but never implemented. There is terrible hatred and terrible distrust between Hamas and Fatah.
Now Hamas is feeling the strangle hold of Egypt which closed their border with Gaza and has made Hamas illegal in Egypt. Add to that the loss of Hezbollah and Iranian support and you understand how Hamas has been marginalized, weakened and starved.
Hamas will continue to lash out at Fatah and the Palestinian Authority. That is all that is left for them to do.
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