Friday, June 29, 2007

Fatah Divide

Hani Al-Hassan is a longtime Fatah member. He is former Minister of Interior, was a close advisor to president Yaser Arafat and senior advisor to Abu Mazen. In an interview on Aljazeera on Wednesday Al-Hassan voiced criticism of some Fatah members and their actions relating to the Hamas' military takeover in Gaza. Consequently, Abu Mazen dismissed Al-Hassan from his position. This comes after the president sacked seven of his highest officers in Gaza over the past two weeks.

This from the Jerusalem Post,

Hassan described the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip as a serve blow to US security coordinator Maj.-Gen. Keith Dayton, who has been working toward strengthening Abbas's security forces ahead of a possible confrontation with Hamas.

In an interview with Al-Jazeera, Hassan said the fighting in the Gaza Strip was between Hamas and group of "collaborators" with the US and Israel, and not between Hamas and Fatah.

His remarks were clearly directed against Dahlan and a number of senior Fatah leaders.

In another interview, Hassan named Dahlan as the "main culprit" behind the crisis. He said Dahlan used his strong influence and Abbas's "blind confidence" to foil any reconciliation bid between Fatah and Hamas after the Islamic movement came to power in January 2006.

Many of Al-Hassan’s claims parallel those of Hamas who in the past weeks have disclosed hundreds of secret Fatah documents confiscated from Fatah security headquarters in Gaza City.

Why is this split taking place within
Fatah's ranks?

This quote from Alistair Crooke's sheds some light, by taking us back to Palestinian elections of last year.

The election outcome, however, was not primarily a judgment on Fatah’s corruption, even if this was a significant factor. I recall a leader in a refugee camp in Lebanon saying: ‘You will see . . . what this victory for Hamas represents is the final rupture of the Palestinians’ faith in the international community. We no longer believe that the Americans or the Europeans ultimately can be counted on to do the right thing by us. We know that we must rely only on ourselves now.’ Hamas had recognised for some time that the Palestinian constituency that voted Fatah a monopoly of power and of armed force in 1993, following the Oslo Accords, no longer existed. Hardly any Palestinians now believe that Palestinian ‘good behaviour’ – as promised to Israel by Fatah – will induce the US to ignore its domestic Israel lobby and exert pressure on Israel to withdraw from the lands occupied in 1967. ‘Hamas had predicted all along that Israel would not fulfil its bargain,’ Tamimi writes, ‘and that it was using peacemaking in order to expropriate more land.