The headline of this AP story is “Fatah, Hamas make up,” but that seems like more wishful thinking — neither side is backing down, and they have traded gunfire. The tensions between the advocates of Fast Jihad (Hamas) and Slow Jihad (Fatah) seem likely only to increase.
GAZA CITY, April 23: The militant Hamas group and the rival Fatah Party agreed today to work to end tensions between their competing branches of the Palestinian government that exploded into violent clashes and mass protests throughout Palestinian towns in recent days.
But friction threatened to boil over again with neither the Hamas-controlled Cabinet nor Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas” more moderate Fatah faction backing down from their conflicting demands in a fierce struggle for control of the security forces.
Supporters of the two sides traded gunfire and hurled stones and firebombs yesterday, and Fatah leaders warned the violence could deteriorate into civil war. In a meeting that began yesterday and is continued till today, Hamas and Fatah officials said they would take steps to end the fighting. “The two movements have agreed to call on our Palestinian masses to stop all displays that might lead to tension,” Fatah official Maher Mekdad said, reading a joint statement. “They agreed to work together to strengthen national unity”. But no agreement was reached on control of the security forces, participants said. Outside the meeting, which was mediated by Egyptian security officials, thousands of Fatah supporters shouted anti-Hamas slogans.