Hamas-Fatah Deal Hinges on Gaza Vagaries

Hamas Leaders in Gaza Wary of Deal

An agreement on a unity government between Hamas and Fatah which would leave Mahmoud Abbas in charge is coming under growing scrutiny tonight amid reports that Gaza’s Hamas leaders are worried about exactly what will happen to them.

The nominal attempt toward unity is meant to spell an end to the Gaza-West Bank division in anticipation of new elections. Gaza’s existing leadership, is not expected to go along with any deal that sees Abbas completely removing them from power. The agreement is light on details of how this sharing is supposed to take place.

This means Abbas will be struggling to balance an effort to claim at least some control over the region to satisfy the international community, but not do so much so that the Hamas leaders once again chase his faction out.

The split originally came after Hamas won a decisive election victory in 2006, and Abbas, at the behest of US officials, refused to cede power to them. The two sides came into open clashes in 2007, with Hamas chasing Fatah forces out of Gaza and the reverse happening in the West Bank.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.