Home inContext Fatah and the Gaza Crisis

Fatah and the Gaza Crisis

Jonathan Schanzer

Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic Monthly noted recently that Palestinians aligned with the Fatah faction are “rooting for the Israelis to decimate Hamas,” and that “Fatah has actually been assisting the Israelis with targeting information.”

Analysts continue to speculate that Fatah, which lost the Gaza Strip to Hamas in a violent 2007 coup, is ready to swoop back into Gaza if Israel successfully ousts Hamas. Indeed, officials in Ramallah say that Fatah is “fully prepared to return to the Gaza Strip.” One figure stated that Fatah has “enough men in the Gaza Strip who are ready to fill the vacuum.”

Not so fast. PA President Mahmoud Abbas, who recently slammed Hamas for firing rockets, is now ripping Israel for “collective punishment” in Gaza. Jailed Fatah leader Marwan Bargouthi reportedly seeks to join forces with Hamas. Fatah’s al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades have even fired missiles at Israel.