Middle East - Hamas and Palestinian Politics: Faction Fighting

The eruption of violence between Hamas and Fateh supporters in early October dramatically illustrated the growing tension between the two parties and is another milestone in the deterioration of life in the occupied Palestinian territory. Ten were killed and more than a hundred wounded in clashes in the Gaza Strip while government offices in Ramallah were attacked by Fateh supporters. Reconciliation is essential ahead of the day when international attention turns back to trying to solve the Israel-Palestine issue.

The World Today Published 1 November 2006 Updated 12 November 2020 4 minute READ

Robert Lowe

The recent incidents mark a serious escalation in inter-Palestinian factional clashes and are much the worst to have occurred since Hamas won the parliamentary election in January. The Palestinian government is incapable of supporting its people and public services and living standards are declining at an alarming rate. Israel maintains its occupation of the West Bank and control over the Gaza Strip which it regularly invades, causing destruction and loss of life.

The international community refuses to deal with the Hamas government of the Palestinian Authority and has reduced its budgetary support and humanitarian aid. There is no prospect of a return to negotiations with Israel and the vision of an independent and viable Palestinian state seems ever more distant.

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