Surprise: Hamas in Gaza has arrested thousands of Fatah supporters
I'm sure you'll all be shocked to hear that Hamas has arrested hundreds of Fatah supporters
While Palestinian negotiators in Cairo
strained to present a unified front in ceasefire talks with Egypt and
Israel Sunday, Fatah continues to showcase stories of intimidation and
physical assault against its members in Hamas-controlled Gaza.
One Fatah official, speaking on condition of
anonymity for fear of reprisal against his party members in Gaza, told
The Times of Israel on Sunday that as many as 250 Fatah members in the
Strip have been told by Hamas to stay home throughout Operation
Protective Edge, and as many as 125 were shot at by Hamas operatives
when they refused to comply. Ten victims of gunshots to the legs have
been transferred to hospitals in Ramallah and Nablus in the West Bank,
“They [Hamas] don’t want Fatah’s voice to appear in Gaza,” the official said. “They may be afraid of a Fatah revolution.”
Having won the 2006 national elections by a
large majority, Hamas violently took control of the Gaza Strip in the
summer of 2007, banishing and killing Fatah members in the city.
According to the International Red Cross, at least 118 Fatah members
were killed and some 550 wounded during the second week of June 2007,
some thrown off the rooftops of high-rise buildings. In January 2014, as
part of his movement’s reconciliation efforts with Fatah, Hamas prime
minister Ismail Haniyeh declared that Fatah members could return to Gaza.
On July 27, when the Israeli land operation in
Gaza was already well underway, Fatah issued a statement condemning
Hamas for placing “many Fatah members in various areas under house
arrest.” Hamas had told Fatah that the order was carried out by
individuals and would be reversed, but “as of now it is only
increasing,” Fatah’s statement complained. On August 4, Fatah issued a
second communique claiming the harassment was continuing unabated. It
had even reached “the point of opening fire at Fatah members, causing
serious injury and the tearing of bones and leg tissue.”
The Fatah official who spoke to the Times of
Israel said that any Fatah member in Gaza wishing to change his address
was required to notify Hamas authorities first.
“Any [Fatah member] leaving his home would have his legs shot at,” he said.
Labels: Fatah, Gaza, Hamas, Hamas-Fatah reconciliation, Operation Protective Edge