This was entirely too predictable:
Hamas and Fatah gunmen exchanged fire on Friday in political turmoil as the long-dominant Fatah faction was threatened with a violent backlash from within after its crushing election defeat by the Islamic militant group.***
Some 20,000 Fatah supporters took the streets in angry protests across the Gaza Strip, burning cars outside the Palestinian parliament building and firing rifles in the air. Some Hamas posters were ripped down by the crowd, which burned tires in the streets.***
The militant al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, part of Fatah, issued a statement threatening to “liquidate” the faction’s leaders if they changed their minds and joined a Hamas-led administration.
It will be interesting to see how they blame Israel for this. Meanwhile, reports are seeming to reject what we thought we knew about why voters rejected the Fatah ruling party:
The interviews here seemed to belie suggestions that Palestinians did not really think through their vote for Hamas, that it was an angry and instinctive vote to punish Fatah.
Nearly to a person, they said they had considered the risks, like international isolation or an end to hopes of negotiations with Israel for a Palestinian state. In the end they decided that the balance went to Hamas, which has no reputation for corruption and whose history of resistance might even help make a deal with Israel.
“People, when they chose Hamas, they knew they would face many challenges,” said Fadia Barghouti, 33, an English teacher whose husband is in an Israeli jail under suspicion of being a Hamas leader. “The return of the Israeli Army. Financial problems.”
“But they elected Hamas,” she said. “They respect Hamas. They hate Fatah. They want perhaps a real state. The Israeli Army left Gaza because of resistance, not because of agreements.”
I thought they were rejecting the corruption of the corrupt Fatah, and these interviews seem to suggest that is not the case- they were voting for conflict.