Fatah leaders fears Gaza conflict has put Hamas in ascendancyJanuary 23rd, 2009 - 4:25 pm ICT by ANI
Jerusalem, Jan. 23 (ANI): Fatah, the party created by former Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, believes that the recent conflict in the Gaza Strip between Israel and the Hamas, has placed the latter in an ascendant role in the region.
The Independent quoted leading Fatah militant Husam Kadr as saying in the West Bank city of Nablus: “We have moved into the era of Hamas which is now much stronger than it was. Its an era started when Israel attacked Gaza on 27 December.”
The sharp decline in support for Fatah and the discrediting of Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, because of his inertia during the 22-day Gaza war, will make it very difficult for the US and the EU to pretend that Fatah are the true representatives of the Palestinian community. The international community is likely to find it impossible to marginalise Hamas in reconstructing Gaza, claims the report. “Hamas has been highly successful in portraying itself as the party of the resistance, and Fatah and Mahmoud Abbas as the opponents of resistance at a time [when] the public wants to resist,” said Ghassan Khatib, a former Palestinian minister of planning.
Kadr, who says he was tortured by Israeli interrogators during his five-and-a-half-year-long detention, does not welcome the Hamas’’s triumph.
But he is convinced that, just as Fatah’’s long reign was launched by the battle of Karamah in March 1968, when Fatah fighters aided by the Jordanian army, repelled an Israeli attack on their HQ in the Jordan valley, so Hamas will gain from the Gaza war.
“The Hamas era comes 40 years after Karamah began the Fatah period,” he says.
Hamas is conscious of its political success even if it was able to do little against the Israeli army.
Khatib, in his office in Ramallah, the Palestinian capital on the West Bank, says the first priority must be the formation of a Palestinian unity government between Hamas and Fatah.
But he adds gloomily that “the chances of this happening are slim” because the Gaza war has exacerbated hatred between the two sides as Fatah supporters are hunted down and sometimes executed in Gaza.
The rise of Hamas and the demise of Fatah is best explained by the failure of President Abbas to achieve anything through negotiations for ordinary Palestinians. (ANI)
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