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How Hamas' Military Wing Threatens Reconciliation With Fatah

Matthew Levitt and Aviva Weinstein

Also available in العربية

Foreign Affairs

November 29, 2017


Even as it hands over political power, the group seems committed to a militant model that could bring Gaza closer to the next wave of violence.

A few days ago, Hamas, Fatah, and 11 other Palestinian factions met for talks in Cairo to finalize a national political reconciliation process that would reunite the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The key sticking point in the talks was monopoly over the use of force. Fatah leader and PA President Mahmoud Abbas insists that there can be only "one state, one government, one gun," but Hamas seeks to maintain its armed military and terrorist wing even as it is set to hand over the reins of power in Gaza to Fatah and the PA this Friday. Abbas has explicitly rejected Hamas following the so-called Hezbollah model, in which a militant party participates in politics and joins the government but maintains a heavily armed and independent militia. Yet clearly, Hamas prefers this setup...

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