With war over, Fatah members say Hamas sees them as the real danger
Fatah source: Hamas operatives have killed 10 Fatah members, wounded hundreds since end of Gaza op.
Israel's operation in Gaza may have ended, but the internal Palestinian fighting is still going strong. According to a Fatah source, Hamas operatives have thus far killed 10 Fatah members and wounded hundreds, fearing that Fatah might try to undermine Hamas' rule in the territory.
"When the war began, we started to see a tendency within Hamas to attack our members," said A., a Gaza resident who belongs to Fatah. "They feared that we would exploit the war and were constantly talking about the 'internal danger.' They could be heard saying they were fighting on two fronts, against Israel and Fatah. They were constantly fanning the flames, saying that thousands of Fatah members were planning to come from Egypt to help fight them - which is totally false."
Once, after a Fatah member was killed by Israeli fire, "we were marching in procession toward the cemetery when Hamas men fell on the convoy and killed three of our people," A. said. In another case, a group of Fatah members were celebrating the release of one of their comrades from jail when "Hamas men arrived and said we were really celebrating and handing out candies in schadenfreude over Hamas members who had been killed, and once again, they threatened us."
A. said that Hamas also put large numbers of Fatah members under house arrest.
"They went from house to house and told hundreds of people not to go out, and that if they were seen outside, they would shoot them," A. explained said.
Moreover, "dozens of people were shot in the legs," and two of them died while awaiting treatment for their injuries. "At least 100 people were shot in the legs for no reason," he claimed.
"They killed Isham Najar, a man of 70, in front of his family, just because he is affiliated with Fatah," A. said. "That is also what happened to Ahmed Sagura. He was under house arrest, and when he was found outside, he was shot because his brother is one of the leaders of Fatah in Gaza .... They say that we are the danger, not the Jews, because they [the Jews] come and go, but we are here. We are the real problem."
A. said he goes outside as little as possible. "If I go out, I look around carefully to see whether anyone is waiting for me. I try to do everything quickly. We've been living like this for some time and have already learned how to maneuver for ourselves; the fear is mainly for our families and children. Why should they have to pay?"
After Israel declared a cease-fire, A. added, Fatah began trying to assess its damages, but every such effort was met by Hamas threats. "Anyone suspected of doing something for his surroundings receives a house call and is warned not to go out. They don't allow us to organize or even to see our people, to see if they need something."
Hamas is also keeping humanitarian aid for its own people, A. charged.
But A. is not without complaints about his own organization's leadership. "There's a problem because Fatah's senior leadership is trying to sweep this appalling situation under the rug so as not to sabotage the chance of dialogue between us and Hamas. They don't want to escalate the situation and are trying not to let the story get out. So meanwhile, they [Hamas] do as they please without hindrance."