Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Palestinian Civil War Watch - 12

The current cease fire is holding. Except for one killing. So far.

A Hamas affiliated gunman was shot dead in Khan Younies on Tuesday afternoon. Hamas officials are holding gunmen from Fateh responsible for the shooting. It is the first fatality to be reported since the cease-fire came into effect at 3 A.M [local time -which is +2GMT - ed.] on Tuesday morning.

The man killed was an operative of the Al-Qassam brigades, an armed wing affiliated with the Hamas movement, according to Palestinian security sources. The gunman who opened fire at him has not yet been identified.

IMEMC called Fawzi Barhoum, the spokesman of Hamas in the Gaza strip. He stated that apparently some groups of Fateh are not commited to the political leadership commands of Fateh movement, and are still acting on an individual basis.
Jeeze, what a surprise. The chain of command is unsound. They don't have orders. They have "suggestions".

Give the situation, in another day or two the battles will be raging again.

It looks like the person killed was a Hamas military leader.
Gunmen shot dead a Hamas commander in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday and the Islamist group blamed a Fatah-dominated security service for the first killing in the territory since a ceasefire went into effect overnight.

Hospital officials in the southern town of Khan Younis said Hussein Shabasi was shot in the head.

A spokesman for Hamas’ armed wing said he was killed by the Preventive Security Service, most of whose members belong to President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah faction. The security service denied any connection with his death.
It looks like the cease fire is holding. So far. In addition Fatah and Hamas have exchanged hostages.
Rival Palestinian factions have swapped hostages under a ceasefire deal that went into effect hours earlier, largely halting gun battles in which at least 30 Palestinians were killed.

The internal Palestinian violence in the Gaza Strip was the fiercest since the Islamist Hamas group, which rejects peace talks with Israel, trounced the more moderate Fatah faction in elections last year, triggering a Western aid embargo.

A total of 20 Hamas and 18 Fatah hostages were freed over a several-hour period, said Samih al-Madhoun, a senior leader of al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the armed wing of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah.

"The process of handing over the hostages has been completed," Madhoun said.

The truce agreed late on Tuesday to end five days of fighting seemed to be generally holding despite the killing of a Hamas commander in Gaza on Tuesday.

The ceasefire went into effect after Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas met an aide to Abbas.

The bloodshed had derailed unity government talks between Hamas and Fatah and prompted some families in the coastal strip to flee their homes.
Shops are opening. Traffic is resuming. People are coming out of their homes after being shut in for 5 days. It is quite possible that this truce will hold. For a while. Which would make my prediction of a couple of days to rest and refit wrong.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

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