Reality Overtakes the Illusion of Unity in Gaza

Steven Erlanger, New York Times, May 16, 2007

A third day of deadly clashes between Hamas and Fatah fighters suggests that the Palestinian unity government, put together under Saudi auspices at the end of March, is something of a fiction. It never got off to a serious start, and as this week’s resignation of the independent interior minister, Hani al-Qawasmeh, made clear, the leaders of the fighting men were never prepared to listen to one authority anyway.

The fighting on Tuesday, on the day in the Muslim calendar that Palestinians commemorate as the “nakba,” or “catastrophe” that overtook them after Israel’s independence, has been fed by continuing Hamas suspicion of American motives in training, financing and, indirectly, arming the Presidential Guard.

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