After a week of battles which have left over 100 dead on the streets, Hamas has complete control of the Gaza Strip.
Yesterday evening the militants over ran the presidential palace Fatah’s last bastion. The precipitating events forced Palestinian Authority president, Abu Mazen (Mahmud Abbas), under fierce criticism for his indecision in the crises, to dissolve government and proclaim a state of emergency, outlawing Hamas; he then called for early elections and – as all signs seem to indicate – an international task force for Gaza.
Last night, fighters celebrated their victory to the sound of Kalashnikov’s being shot from the rooftops of Gaza, rejoicing in the “liberation” of the territories from Fatah, considered US and Israeli collaborators. “We are telling our people that is over, it’s finished and will not return – said Hamas military wing spokesman Islam Shahawan, – the era of justice and Islamic law has arrived”.
Analysts note that now Gaza’s division from the West Bank is effective. The vision of a “Hamas-stan” led by radical Islamists, separated from a “Fatah-stan”, wider and more moderate, greatly concerns the entire international community, while the Arab states have appealed for calm, warning that the clashes in the strip seriously undermine the Palestinian cause. The now ex-premier of the defunct government, Ismail Haniyeh has immediately sought to reassure: “The Gaza Strip is an integral part of the homeland and its people are part of the Palestinian people. No, therefore to an independent state in Gaza, because the state is one and cannot be divided”. The political exponent of Hamas, then defined Abbas’ decisions as “precipitous”.
Analysts and intelligence agents see the recent violence in the Lebanese refugee camp of Nahar el Bared, Lebanon and the Strip as part of a renewed regional offensive against the US and Israel, led by Damascus and Teheran; the two regimes which finance Hamas.