Fatah Elements Exact Revenge

Masked militias defy Abbas, run riot against Hamas loyalists in West Bank
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 21, 2007 11:37 AM CDT
Fatah Elements Exact Revenge
In a show of force, militants of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an armed offshoot of the Fatah movement loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas, parade in the center of the northern West Bank town of Nablus, Monday June 18, 2007. (AP Photo/Nasser Ishtayeh)   (Associated Press)

In the week since Hamas staged an armed coup in Gaza, violent reprisals by Fatah-linked rivals have plagued the West Bank. Despite Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas'  demands for peace, militants loyal to the PM's group have staged massive looting and kidnapping of the Hamas faithful, including both unarmed supporters and elected officials, the LA Times reports.

Hamas shares power in many West Bank municipalities, but the base of its military strength is in Gaza. Palestinian and Western powers have begun to act as though the two territories are under different regimes. But one Fatah official says, "It's not a matter of who's stronger. There's enough force on both sides to destroy us all." (Read more Hamas stories.)

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