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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Fatah and al-Qaeda v. Egypt and Hamas

Middle East Newsline is reporting this evening that Egypt collaborated with Hamas on its takeover of the Gaza Strip, because Fatah 'strongman' Muhammed Dahlan was conspiring with al-Qaeda to throw Hamas out of the Strip - in return for Fatah allowing al-Qaeda free reign to infiltrate the Sinai Peninsula:
Western intelligence sources said Egypt cooperated with Hamas in allowing shipments of weapons, munitions and explosives that facilitated the Islamic takeover of the Gaza Strip last week. The sources said Egypt concluded that a Hamas takeover would halt or reduce insurgency infiltration in the Sinai Peninsula.

"The Egyptians were in the picture as early as several weeks ago," an intelligence source said. "[Hamas leader Khaled] Masha'al discussed the Fatah strategic threat and said Hamas would stop [Fatah security chief Mohammed] Dahlan at any cost."

In a recent telephone conversation with Egyptian intelligence chief Gen. Omar Suleiman, Masha'al said Dahlan and his allies were working with Al Qaida-aligned groups to undermine Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The sources quoted Masha'al as saying that Fatah was allowing Al Qaida to infiltrate the Sinai Peninsula to facilitate attacks on the regime of President Hosni Mubarak.


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