Fatah accuses Hamas of political arrests on anniversary of bloody coup

Fatah members blame the current Palestinian state of affairs on the Hamas terror group, which seized power in a bloody 2007 coup, killing hundreds of Fatah members.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

Hamas is marking the anniversary of the bloody military coup that brought it to power in Gaza by arresting supporters of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah organization, the Palestinian Authority official news agency WAFA reported Sunday.

“The campaign of arrests by the Hamas forces coincides with the thirteenth anniversary of its bloody coup in mid-June 2007 on national legitimacy and its control by force of arms over the Gaza Strip,” WAFA reported. The Fatah detainees were taken to Hamas “torture centers and to the prisons of the so-called internal security …  which were involved in the torture and killing of our people after the black coup.”

WAFA published the names of “415 martyrs treacherously shot by Hamas militias in 2007,” saying a total of 490 Fatah supporters were killed by Hamas when it seized power in the short civil war.

Israel had pulled out of the Gaza Strip in 2005, removing residents from all 21 Israeli communities there and closing down the IDF bases, transferring everything to the Palestinian Authority headed by Mahmoud Abbas. However, after Fatah lost the 2006 Palestinian elections to Hamas and refused to hand over power, the Iran-backed Hamas terror group staged a military coup in June 2007.

“Hamas militias executed in their black coup in mid-2007 hundreds of the Palestinian National Liberation Movement Fatah in cold blood,” the agency said.

The brutality of the Hamas takeover was documented in a 2010 TIME magazine report on Fatah members from Gaza whose legs were shot off by Hamas as a visible message to Gazans of the consequences of trying to cross the new rulers.

Ironically, the Palestinian Authority sent the Fatah men who survived to Israeli hospitals to get artificial legs and learn to walk again.

Fatah spokesman Iyad Nasser condemned the arrests, saying it showed Hamas was not committed to the Palestinian struggle against Israel.

“It would be better for Hamas to give real indications of its commitment to national unity, rather than go to this method that brings back memories of its behavior in the coup, repression, and actions that do not extend the concepts of national unity in any connection,” Nasser said.

In an editorial Sunday, WAFA director Bilal Ghaith Kiswani slammed Hamas for rejecting any reconciliation, blaming the Iran-backed terror group for holding the Palestinians back from independence.

“Politicians from the national action factions agree that the continuation of Hamas in its coup threatens our Palestinian cause and the possibility of achieving the Palestinian dream of establishing an independent state.”

One of the conditions of full membership in the United Nations is that a new country must show it has a single, central government that exerts control over the territory. With Fatah based in Ramallah and Hamas entrenched in Gaza, the Palestinians remain split with two separate governments. Fatah has shown willingness to negotiate with Israel, but Hamas rejects Israel’s existence.

Fatah political bureau member Walid Al-Awad said the Hamas coup d’etat “led to the deterioration of the Palestinian cause in the world, the deterioration of the economic situation of our people, and provided an opportunity for the occupying state and the United States of America to launch more projects that culminated in the deal of the century.”