Warning of 'civil war' in Gaza strip
Thursday 09 July 1992
Last night clashes broke out in the Beach Camp refugee enclave after supporters of the Palestinian Islamic fundamentalist group, Hamas, appealed through the mosques for peace.
The mosques in the camp were immediately attacked by militants from the rival Fatah faction, the mainstream group of the Palestine Liberation Organisation which has been involved in clashes with Hamas for several days, resulting on Tuesday in the death of a 16-year-old boy.
The call from the mosques which echoed around the camp pleaded for women and children and families of political prisoners to come out on to the street to prevent further bloodshed between the two groups. Thousands of Beach Camp residents responded to the appeal but Israeli soldiers were swiftly on the scene to disperse the militants.
The violence appears to have been sparked by a tussle for power as the prospect of autonomy for the occupied territories has increased with the election of Yitzhak Rabin, the Labour leader, as Prime Minister. Mr Rabin has promised to implement autonomy within six to nine months.
The Hamas group has in the past rejected all involvement with the peace process and now accuses the PLO faction of giving in to Israeli and US conditions for peace.
The head of the Palestinian delegation to the talks, Haidar Abdel Shafi, yesterday warned that 'civil war' could break out in Gaza before the new round of talks starts in Rome within the next few weeks.
On the walls of Gaza's Islamic University the depth of the animosity between the fundamentalists and the PLO group was yesterday writ large.
Hamas accused Fatah of a plot to eliminate the Islamic movement and its leaders. 'With the great growth of the Islamic movement and also after the Israeli election, Fatah is trying to spread the propaganda of their allies in the Labour party. It is using a terrorist plot against Hamas.' The words were signed by the El Kassen Brigade, the armed wing of Hamas.
The fundamentalists of Hamas, who reject the peace process, accuse the Palestinian leadership, many of whom support Fatah, of being in the hands of the Israelis and of carrying out what they say is the West's plan to have Hamas eliminated. The Fatah faction says Hamas is provoking the violence to assert its strength before autonomy is achieved. Both sides suspect Israeli provocation.
Inside the Islamic University, Abdel Aziz Rentisi, a founder of the Hamas movement in 1987, accused Yasser Arafat, the PLO leader, of kowtowing to the West by talking peace. 'The Islamic movement will be the victim of the peace process,' said Dr Rentisi, a paediatrician and lecturer at the university. Although Hamas rejects the peace process, Dr Rentisi said the organisation would participate in the autonomy election.
He attacked Fatah leaders for calling for an end to the killing of Palestinians who collaborate with the Israelis. 'Fatah is going to stop Hamas from attacking the Jews and collaborators on the orders of the US,' he said.
The violence started when Hamas said it had unearthed a plot by Fatah to kidnap and kill Hamas leaders - but Dr Rentisi would not reveal the evidence. Hamas distributed letters to Fatah activists threatening them with death. In reply Fatah threatened to kill Hamas's 'scum leadership'. After the war of leaflets came the real war between the Fatah Hawks - formerly called the Black Panthers - and the El Kassen Brigade. Scores have been injured after clashes in refugee camps.
As anti-Semitic attacks rise, Grant Feller re-evaluates his identity
Kirstie Allsopp has waded into the female fertility debate again
...and it wasn't caused by an asteroid crash, as first thought
Savoury patisserie is a thing now
Gillian Anderson lays into gender disparity in Hollywood
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered...
- 3 35,000 walrus gather on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
- 4 Brad Pitt, on the moment he completely lost his temper with Clint Eastwood's son
- 5 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
Stella McCartney apologises over controversial 'very ill' model picture on Instagram
Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered...
Brad Pitt, on the moment he completely lost his temper with Clint Eastwood's son
Cheryl Cole named 'the most dangerous celebrity' on the internet
Former Tory donor Arron Banks ups his Ukip donation to £1million following William Hague 'nobody' comment
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
- < Previous
- Next >
£35000 - £40000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client, a prog...
Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: A rare high quality opportunity for a...
£45 - £50 per day: Randstad Education Group: Job opportunities for SEN Teachin...
£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Secondary teachers re...