“Hundreds of Fatah gunmen on Saturday stormed Hamas-controlled institutions in the West Bank, including parliament and government ministries, and told staffers that those with ties to Hamas will not be allowed to return.”
Now here is the irony.
These are “Hamas-controlled institutions” in the sense that Hamas was elected to them. It’s a bit of a myth that the West Bank is Fatah territory: it has been for a long time, but in the last few years, it has been progressively moving to Hamas. Hamas had in fact made huge breakthroughs in Nablus, Ramallah, Jenin, and Qalqilyah. That should be borne in mind when the media casually describe the current status as one of both parties retreating to their respective strongholds. The truth is that Fatah represents a minority of Palestinians, because of the failure of their strategy of accommodation. Now, it so happens that the aid that the US promised to Abbas was conditional.
Predictably, because they are branded a terrorist disorganization, the narrative adopted by the mainstream media insists on portraying Hamas as the extreme radical in the conflict in Palestine, but who is really behaving with moderation?
Having lost elections, having lost city after city, council after council, and then the majority of Palestine itself, Fatah has allowed itself to become this, despite the willingness of Hamas to include them in a national unity government, representing the overwhelming majority of Palestinians. It is a cruel tragedy, made worse by the mocking misuse of language in the representation of it by our news outfits. Hamas, not Fatah, has spoken the language of moderation and conciliation in this dispute: as it should. Perhaps military combat with their former coalition partners is now unavoidable, but the prospect of fratricidal ruin should steady anyone’s hand. One alternative is to turn to the Palestinians themselves, and ask for a general strike.
If Hamas were so adamant about implementing fundamentalist Islam, they would hardly be reaching out to Fatah. But what are Fatah doing?
Hamas, for their part, have given an amnesty in Gaza. They have also said they’re willing to work with the Fatah leadership, despite their elected PM having been overthrown in an Abbas-led coup in the West Bank. A new unity government is an urgent task of the Palestinian resistance, because as militarily weak and economically marginalised as the Palestinians are, they don’t stand a chance divided. It goes without saying that Abbas hasn’t had any credibility for a long time, and having allowed Dahlan to organise months of thuggery under his watch, he hasn’t really a shred of an excuse left.