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Hamas and Fatah On Verge of Civil War


FutureGM
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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Moving Palestinians closer to all-out civil war, Hamas gunmen captured the headquarters of the Fatah-allied security forces in northern Gaza. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the assault, on several fronts, amounted to a coup attempt by the Islamic militants.

 

In Israel, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert proposed stationing international forces along the Gaza Strip's volatile border with Egypt to prevent arms from reaching Hamas.

 

Hamas attacked the compound with mortars and automatic gunfire, and after several hours of battle, seized control, said Hamas commander Wael al-Shakra. A Fatah security official confirmed the building had been lost. He said at least 10 people were killed and 30 wounded.

 

Security commanders loyal to Abbas complained they were not given clear orders to fight back at a time when Hamas appeared to be moving forward according to a plan.

 

Abbas? Fatah movement was to meet later in the day to decide whether to pull out of his shaky coalition with Hamas. Calls by Abbas and exasperated Egyptian mediators for a cease-fire went unheeded.

 

Instead, Hamas and Fatah militants threatened to kill each other?s leaders. In Gaza, a rocket-propelled grenade damaged the home of Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas but caused no injuries in what Hamas said was an attempted assassination. In the West Bank, Fatah gunmen kidnapped a deputy Cabinet minister from Hamas.

 

In an ultimatum verging on a declaration of war, Hamas? armed wing earlier Tuesday had given Fatah a deadline to evacuate the military intelligence, presidential guard, national security and preventive security headquarters in Gaza City.

 

Hamas-affiliated radio stations said the group took over security installations in northern and central Gaza, as well as the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis.

 

Hamas demanded that Fatah-allied security forces abandon their positions, threatening to attack those who remained.

 

?The warning which we have given you to surrender has ended, and we will attack this position of Zionist collaborators,? Hamas warned over a mosque loudspeaker in Gaza City, shortly before taking up positions near the headquarters of the pro-Fatah Preventive Security Service.

 

Olmert said that "the situation in Gaza bothers and concerns us especially concerning the ability of the pragmatic forces in the Palestinian Authority to confront the actions that the extremist forces are taking."

 

Israeli officials have repeatedly warned that the Hamas militant group, which has fired dozens of crude rockets into Israel in recent weeks, is building up its arsenal in anticipation of a confrontation with Israel.

 

Olmert said he feared a Hamas victory, but ruled out Israeli support for the moderate Fatah forces.

 

"If the Gaza Strip falls into Hamas hands this will have regional implications," Olmert said. "Israel condemns this and will defend itself and its citizens against all attacks of terror groups as necessary. We can't go into the Gaza Strip in order to fight for the Palestinian pragmatic forces facing the extremist forces."

 

Also Tuesday, a rocket-propelled grenade hit the home of the Hamas prime minister.

 

There were no injuries in the attack on Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh?s home ? the second in two days. But it underscored the increasingly ruthless nature of the fighting, which has killed 18 people in recent days.

 

Exasperated Egyptian mediators said the bitter rivals turned down an appeal to meet for truce talks.

 

In the West Bank, where Fatah forces are much stronger, Fatah gunmen threatened to retaliate by killing Hamas leaders. Hamas said its deputy transportation minister was seized by Fatah gunmen.

 

Abbas called for an immediate end to fighting.

 

?In order to protect the higher national interests of our people, and to try stop the bloodshed, I, in my position as the head of the Palestinian Authority and the head of all security forces, call for an immediate halt to fire,? Abbas said after meeting with Fatah leaders at his West Bank headquarters. His statement also called for a joint meeting with Egyptian mediators to end the fighting, which has killed 80 people in the past month.

 

Col. Nasser Khaldi, a Fatah commander in southern Gaza, confirmed his men were on the defensive. ?There is a weakness of our leaders,? he said. ?Hamas is just taking over our positions. There are no orders.?

 

Streets were deserted in the southern town of Khan Younis. A member of the Fatah-allied forces there said Hamas took several smaller Fatah positions, but that the main compound was still under Fatah control. The officer said Hamas took over an adjacent building. ?Our orders are to defend ourselves if they come, but not to attack,? he said.

 

Hamas and Fatah have been locked in a violent power struggle since Hamas defeated Fatah in January 2006 legislative elections, ending four decades of Fatah rule.

 

The sides agreed to share power in an uneasy coalition three months ago, but put off key disputes, including control of the security forces. Most of the forces are dominated by Fatah loyalists, while Hamas formed its own militia in the past year in addition to the thousands of gunmen at its command.

 

In the past two days, 18 Palestinians have been killed in increasingly brutal violence. Some people were shot execution-style or were hit in shootouts that turned hospitals into battle grounds, while others were thrown from rooftops. Residents huddled indoors, and students? exams were canceled or moved.

 

Both sides described the fighting as all-out civil war and used Web sites and text messages to call for the death of the other?s military and political leaders.

 

The head of the Egyptian mediation team, Lt. Col. Burhan Hamad, said neither side responded to his call for truce talks.

 

?It seems they don?t want to come. We must make them ashamed of themselves. They have killed all hope. They have killed the future,? said Hamad, who brokered several previous short-lived cease-fires.

 

Hamad said both sides were about equal in firepower, with neither able to have ?a decisive victory. To be decisive, they need weapons that neither side has.? He said he would call civilians into the streets to protest if the rivals did not agree to stand down.

 

In the attack on Haniyeh, the grenade hit his home in the Shati refugee camp on the outskirts of Gaza City while the family was inside, said his son, Abdel Salam. A Hamas Web site described the incident as an assassination attempt by Fatah. ?They crossed all the red lines,? said Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum.

 

Elsewhere, a member of the Hamas military wing was kidnapped and killed by Fatah gunmen. The victim was identified as a cousin of Abdel Aziz Rantisi, a Hamas leader Israel assassinated in 2004.

 

Hamas gunmen attacked the home of a senior Fatah security official with mortars and grenades, killing his 14-year-old son and three women, security officials said. Other Fatah gunmen stormed the house of a Hamas lawmaker and burned it down.

 

The fighting also spilled into the West Bank, with Palestinian security forces seizing two employees of the Hamas-linked Al Aqsa TV station in Ramallah. Fatah gunmen said Hamas leaders in the West Bank, a Fatah stronghold, would be targeted if Hamas doesn?t halt its attacks in Gaza.

 

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Both Fatah and Hamas need to be swallowed whole into the Earth in this modern day Wars of the Roses. Too bad everyone's too busy playing the House of York and the House of Lancaster when somebody should be playing the House of Tudor.

 

Would you enjoy it if every last Palestinian - man, women, and child - was buried alive?

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Both Fatah and Hamas need to be swallowed whole into the Earth in this modern day Wars of the Roses. Too bad everyone's too busy playing the House of York and the House of Lancaster when somebody should be playing the House of Tudor.

 

Would you enjoy it if every last Palestinian - man, women, and child - was buried alive?

 

Obviously you misinterpreted what I wrote. Did I talk about PEOPLE or about FACTIONS?

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Both Fatah and Hamas need to be swallowed whole into the Earth in this modern day Wars of the Roses. Too bad everyone's too busy playing the House of York and the House of Lancaster when somebody should be playing the House of Tudor.

 

Would you enjoy it if every last Palestinian - man, women, and child - was buried alive?

no, but israel would love it

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Both Fatah and Hamas need to be swallowed whole into the Earth in this modern day Wars of the Roses. Too bad everyone's too busy playing the House of York and the House of Lancaster when somebody should be playing the House of Tudor.

 

Would you enjoy it if every last Palestinian - man, women, and child - was buried alive?

no, but israel would love it

:|

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I've gotta say, Israel really got screwed over here.

 

After years of international and domestic pressure, they finally pulled out of Gaza, thinking that in the long run it would serve their best interests. It takes a grand total of two years for the extremist wing of Hamas to come out of the woodwork and militarily capture the whole territory.

 

Maybe Hamastan isn't such a far-fetched idea after all...

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I've gotta say, Israel really got screwed over here.

 

After years of international and domestic pressure, they finally pulled out of Gaza, thinking that in the long run it would serve their best interests. It takes a grand total of two years for the extremist wing of Hamas to come out of the woodwork and militarily capture the whole territory.

 

Maybe Hamastan isn't such a far-fetched idea after all...

Bingo.

 

 

I happen to feel really badly for the people who have been caught in the middle. But whoever didn't see this coming obviously needs a reality check.

 

 

In a way, I'm glad this is happening because maybe it will finally open the world to the fact Hamas is not going to sit down and talk truce and keep their word.

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The inevitable comes.....this is going to get even uglier.

 

We all pray peace comes to this region.

 

 

 

because they have such a peaceful history in the annals of time?

 

oh and for the record, i hope they all blow each other up, kill each other and we can start over again.

 

 

 

hit the reset button.

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As a Jewish person, their killing each other, and as long as they dont do anything to us, Im fine woth it. I know not all the people there are bad, but the vast majority is.

neato, a j00ruguayan

 

 

 

Theres only about 2000 of us in a country of 3,000,000 but a lot came after WWII including my grandpa

My brother's friend is actually one of them. Interesting family. Sephardim?

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As a Jewish person, their killing each other, and as long as they dont do anything to us, Im fine woth it. I know not all the people there are bad, but the vast majority is.

neato, a j00ruguayan

 

 

 

Theres only about 2000 of us in a country of 3,000,000 but a lot came after WWII including my grandpa

My brother's friend is actually one of them. Interesting family. Sephardim?

 

No, asckenazim, or however you spell it. Whats his lastname. Everyone pretty much knows every single other jewish person there.

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As a Jewish person, their killing each other, and as long as they dont do anything to us, Im fine woth it. I know not all the people there are bad, but the vast majority is.

neato, a j00ruguayan

 

 

 

Theres only about 2000 of us in a country of 3,000,000 but a lot came after WWII including my grandpa

My brother's friend is actually one of them. Interesting family. Sephardim?

 

No, asckenazim, or however you spell it. Whats his lastname. Everyone pretty much knows every single other jewish person there.

Kaplan. He moved here years ago.

 

 

I was hoping you'd be Sephardic, cause I'm 3/4s Sephardic. :cool

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As a Jewish person, their killing each other, and as long as they dont do anything to us, Im fine woth it. I know not all the people there are bad, but the vast majority is.

neato, a j00ruguayan

 

 

 

Theres only about 2000 of us in a country of 3,000,000 but a lot came after WWII including my grandpa

My brother's friend is actually one of them. Interesting family. Sephardim?

My grandpa came from Poland and all my family after my grandpa is from Europe

 

No, asckenazim, or however you spell it. Whats his lastname. Everyone pretty much knows every single other jewish person there.

Kaplan. He moved here years ago.

 

 

I was hoping you'd be Sephardic, cause I'm 3/4s Sephardic. :cool

 

 

My grandpa moved to Uruguay from Poland and everyone after my grandpa from somewhere in Europe, the rest, all born in Uruguay.

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