Fatah Homes Blown-up Overnight in Gaza Ahead of Arafat Rally

Leading unity PM Hamdallah canceled planned visit to Gaza after learning senior Fatah members’ homes were bombed during the night. Hamas denies any involvement.

By Tova Dvorin

 

A series of explosions were heard overnight in Gaza, Palestinian Arab media said Friday – allegedly at the homes of senior Fatah representatives in the Hamas-controlled region.

Despite the mysterious blasts no casualties were reported, but suspicions remain high that Hamas is behind the attack, in order to deter Fatah supporters from attending next week’s annual rally in remembrance of former Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) terrorist Yasser Arafat.

Hamas denied involvement in the explosions overnight.

“Hamas condemns the bombings on Fatah members’ homes in the Gaza Strip,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri stated to the press Friday. “We urge security forces to investigate the matter and prosecute those involved.”

In response to the explosions, unity government Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah cancelled his visit to Gaza scheduled for Saturday, a senior source in Ramallah told Yediot Aharonoth.

Hamdallah had been set to accompany EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini in her visit to the area, but due to the blasts that plan was cut short.

The instance marks yet another crack in the facade of the Hamas-PA “unity government,” which has been slowly crumbling over the past several months – despite recent efforts to present a “united front” to the international community.

Differences of opinion have surfaced over several issues, including the war in Gaza, reactions to the abduction and murder of three Israeli teenagers, and the delayed payment of wages for government workers in Gaza in the weeks leading up to Operation Protective Edge.

But those differences turned the factions explicitly against one another after Hamas staged dozens of executions of Gazans allegedly “collaborating with Israel” – or working for Fatah – prompting at least one Fatah official to compare Hamas to global jihadist group Islamic State (ISIS).

The IDF and the Israel Security Agency (ISA or Shin Bet) revealed earlier this year that a large-scale coup had been planned by Hamas in Judea and Samaria to overthrow the PA and Abbas’s Fatah party, under orders given from Hamas officials abroad.

Since then, Hamas has also refused the PA’s demands that it let it supervise rebuilding in Gaza – furthering sowing discord between the two factions. It was also Fatah who exposed Hamas’s human trafficking operation of Gaza residents to Europe in October.

More recently, Hamas and the PA remain divided over whether to present the Arab uprisings as an “intifada” to the international press, with Hamas openly calling the rioting and recent terror attacks a “third intifada” and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas insisting otherwise, even as he urges more terror attacks.

 

View original Arutz Sheva publication at: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/187171#.VFzRu8mLUYA

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