The Palestinian Civil War in the Gaza Strip has ended with Hamas defeating Fatah, its long time rival. The fighting over the past six days resulted in over 110 reported deaths, and these are the numbers that can be confirmed. The highly motivated Hamas fighters immediately seized upon the victory to declare its Islamic State, with all the trappings of a strict interpretation of sharia, or Islamic law.
By the few first hand accounts available from inside the Gaza Strip, the situation has degenerated into a cross of Lord of the Flies and Escape from New York. In less than a week’s fighting, Hamas ran roughshod over the numerically superior, long established and better armed Fatah security forces. Hamas attacked and killed women and children for merely being affiliated with Fatah. Captured Fatah officers were frog marched through the streets in various states of undress, and beat and executed their rivals. Fatah fighters were thrown from roofs of buildings. Executions of Fatah members are said to be ongoing, although Hamas offered an amnesty.
Hamas is now engaged in an orgy of looting. “An AFP correspondent witnessed dozens of Palestinians taking everything they could carry from Dahlan’s villa — furniture, plant pots and even the kitchen sink, complete with the plumbing fixtures… masked gunmen rode on the back of armoured vehicles taken from Abbas’s presidential guard… Windows, doors, toilets, furniture, taps, even the light bulbs were gone.”
Go on reading: it’s a very good summary of what’s going on in Gaza.
Because of the international support for Abbas, which has grown in the last days, Newswine consider that the Hamas victory can be a pyrric one. But we should not forget both Syria and Iran who are the main contributors to Hizbollah in Lebanon and to Hamas in Palestine.
The possibility of implementing Sharia Law is one of the first worrying of both the International Community -specially Israel– and of some Palestinians who are not very keen about the posibility.
The Arab league has called for an end of violence, assuring they want “to serve to the Palestinian cause and not to one faction“. But its call sounds as hypocritical as Haniyah’s words, who has denied giving a coup d’état, considering that “we are not against legitimacy because we ARE the legitimacy“.
Last news are that USA has promised to end the embargo to the Palestinian Government if it breaks with Hamas. And that this morning Fatah gunmen have stormed the Palestinian Parliament: they have tried to to seize the Palestinian Legislative Council’s second deputy speaker, Hassan Khuraishah, but staff intervened.
“They’re firing at us, firing RPGs, firing mortars. We’re not Jews,” the brother of Jamal Abu Jediyan, a Fatah commander, pleaded during a live telephone conversation with a Palestinian radio station.