Tensions high in Gaza as Hamas cracks down on rival groupsDavid Hazony obaserves:
Hamas security forces fanned out across a tense Gaza Strip Sunday, following a mysterious weekend car bombing that killed six people and sparked the toughest Hamas crackdown against its Fatah rivals in months.
Perhaps there is nothing new here, except that to use the word “crackdown” when the crackers are Hamas and the crackees are loyalists to PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas suggests how far we have come in accepting Hamas rule in Gaza as a fait accompli. There really are two Palestinian governments now, two authorities. So please, speak not of a “Palestinian State” happening any time soon. Right now it looks like there will be two of them, or none at all.Looking back to the Hamas 'crackdown' in November last year as covered by the LA Times, it seems that this has been going on for awhile:
Hamas cracks down on Fatah in GazaI don't know if the term 'crack down' necessarily connotes the acceptance of a ruling power so much as an implication of force and ruthlessness. Then again, the idea that Hamas control of Gaza was merely the result of 'overwhelming' Fatah seems to be a deliberate attempt to avoid addressing what really happened in Gaza in June of last year.
Abbas' party says 400 of its members have been detained in raids. The rival faction denies political motivation.
Officials of the Fatah faction said Tuesday that hundreds of its members were detained by Hamas after deadly violence marred a massive rally in the Gaza Strip a day earlier.
Fatah leaders said a wave of arrests in Gaza targeted activists, including ranking party figures who had organized the rally marking the third anniversary of Yasser Arafat's death. The gathering erupted in gunfire, leaving seven people dead and dozens injured.
The radical Hamas movement has controlled Gaza since its forces in June overwhelmed fighters from the Fatah faction, which was founded by Arafat and one of whose leaders is Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
... Hamas has cracked down on smaller Fatah rallies and has accused Abbas' forces in the West Bank of rounding up Hamas members.
Maybe the fact that there are approximately 2,440 hits on Google for "Hamas cracks down" is just the media's way of welcoming Hamas to the family of tin pot despots.
UPDATE: I spoke too soon--Judeopundit points out that while one member of Fatah blames Hamas, another member of Fatah did indeed blame Israel.
Technorati Tag: Hamas.