Good Article on the Hamas-Fatah War
Jun 22, 2007
Jonathan Steele writes a good article about how the Palestinian coalition government (Hamas and Fatah) broke down after being brokered by Saudi Arabia.
It looks like that government folded after the US decided to start arming Fatah against Hamas, as well as using diplomatic pressure by refusing to recognize the government.
This emboldened the Fatah strongman in Gaza, Mohammed Dahlan, to disregard the brokered agreement and ignore coalition government agreements. Hamas finally sent in its people to shut down the Fatah's office, and this is what caused the conflict. The article states:
"But Crooke says Hamas was irritated that the Mecca deal was being sabotaged, notably by the refusal of Mohammed Dahlan, Fatah's long-time Gaza strongman and head of the Preventive Security Forces, to accept the authority of the independent interior minister appointed to the unity government. 'Dahlan refused to deal with him, and put his troops on the streets in defiance of the interior minister. Hamas felt they had little option but to take control of security away from forces which were in fact creating insecurity,' Crooke says."
Ahmed Yousef, a Hamas spokesman, confirms the movement thought it had to move fast. In his words, last week's events were "precipitated by the American and Israeli policy of arming elements of the Fatah opposition who want to attack Hamas and force us from office".
Now, in another article in the Palestine Chronicle, we find Hamas opening up the Fatah prison to show the world the torture chambers that Fatah had been using. I have little sympathy for Hamas, but I doubt that Fatah is any better, or that is worthy of American support from a moral standpoint.
Anyway, I thought this article would give you a better sense of what is happening in that part of the world.