A Palestinian Civil War?
Members of the Fatah-led security services stormed into the grounds of the National Assembly buildings in Gaza and Ramallah on Saturday, declaring that they would not countenance a Hamas takeover of their forces. Most of the 58,000 security force members are Fatah loyalists. Many of them were imported from exile, along with a supply of arms, when the Oslo accords allowed their return in 1994 in the process of forming the Palestinian Authority, headed by Mr. Arafat.
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Hamas’ internal leader, Mahmoud Zahar, told The Times that his organization planned to take control of the security services and turn them from “serving Israeli interests” to “confronting Israel and protecting our people.” “We are going to bring the Palestinian security section with the resistance groups on our borders to protect our land and to protect our interests,” Mr. Zahar said.
See also this report in Haaretz. Gunmen do not seize parliament buildings in democracies, and the chaos that is building in the Palestinian territories is ominous beyond measure.