PA-Hamas rivalry spurs on, weapons discovered

Posted: April 26, 2010 by Jonathan Boyko in Gaza, Hamas, Palestinians, Terrorism, West Bank

Palestinian gunman firing from within civilians during operation Defensive Wall In a press release meant to both negate Hamas’ influence and portray the white, furry side of the Fatah, the Palestinian Authority released a statement, according to which it discovered Hamas’ weapons cache in the West Bank. The weapons, Fatah claims, were to be used against targets in the West Bank, as well as Israel:

The Palestinian official said the caches contained hundreds of kilograms of explosives, ammunition and weapons. He said the PA is looking into the possibility that at least one large-scale terror attack was planned.

The caches were discovered following the arrest of a senior member of Hamas’ armed wing. The man led the Palestinian Preventive Security Force to the storehouses in Nablus.

After the arrest, the Hamas man led the Palestinian security forces to the Nablus storehouses, where they were astonished to discover the huge cache which defined as unprecedented.

According to the security source, this was the biggest cache of Hamas weapons and explosives uncovered by the Palestinian Authority.

(Ynet)

FOR MAHMOUD ABBAS, the memory is still fresh of Hamas using arms to force his Fatah activists from Gaza and assuming forceful control over the Strip. There is no doubt Abbas wants to prevent same fate for the West Bank. However, it is unclear if such accusations could be trusted coming from Fatah officials. As a main group challenging Hamas, it is just as plausible Fatah rounded up all arms it could spare and “discovered” the cache.

Despite pessimism, the potential of Hamas using force to gain control over the entire PA should not be discarded. Damascus’ Khaled Mashaal wants the control over Palestinian territory, and while Haniyeh keeps losing positions, gaining command of the West Bank would further his personal vendetta against the Zionists.

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