A year after Pillar of Defense in Gaza, Hamas-Fatah rivalry is mounting again
Just a year ago, even Hamas’ adversaries agreed that Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense had ended with a political and even military victory by Hamas. Now, though, the victory has been forgotten, and everyone is talking about the price rises precipitated by the blocking of the Rafah tunnels, and about the electricity crisis. Since November 1, the usual pattern has been six hours of power followed by 12 hours of outage. In addition to the disruption of normal life, many people’s lives and health are at risk due to the power stoppages in the hospitals, water purification plants and sewage treatment facilities….
Now, however, the situation has been reversed. For the past few weeks, the security apparatus in the Strip has been arresting Fatah supporters, including adolescents, raiding homes and warning people not to demonstrate. There are reports of torture. In the West Bank, meanwhile, the PA has arrested Hamas backers. This week, Fatah was not allowed to mark the anniversary of Yasser Arafat’s death (November 11) in Gaza, and thousands of Hamas security forces were deployed on the streets that day to make sure they didn’t.