Hamas gaining strength in West Bank

Wednesday, August 22, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

Hamas is gaining strength politically and militarily in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), despite efforts by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to prevent a takeover by the terror group.

After Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip earlier in the summer, Abbas and his new Fatah-dominated government implemented a limited crackdown against Hamas in the West Bank, but have recently been making what appear to be conciliatory gestures due to the terror group's widespread popularity.

That has enabled Hamas to establish a number of new armed cells in the West Bank, World Tribune quoted one Palestinian official as saying.

Hamas' conquest of Gaza in June was accomplished by a well coordinated assault by small military cells attacking the much larger Fatah security forces from all sides.

Abbas reportedly wants to counter Hamas' growing strength by bringing exiled Fatah leaders to Ramallah. But most of those “old guard” terror bosses say they will not ally with Abbas until he agrees to resume open armed violence against the Jewish state.

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