Ramallah, Asharq Al-Awsat- Sources in the Palestinian resistance have asserted that the dismissed government in the Gaza Strip tightened its grip on the Strip during the past two days and forbade the launch of rockets on Israel under any excuse, including in retaliation for the attempt by extremist Jews to storm Al-Aqsa Mosque. The same sources said the security organs of the Hamas government arrested in the past two days two gunmen who were preparing to fire rockets at Israel, questioned them, and released them some hours later.
The detainees belong to recently formed armed groups and were arrested in two separate operations. They told the Hamas organs that they were intending to fire rockets in retaliation for what is happening in Al-Aqsa Mosque by the settlers “and in the absence of any practical role in the arena by the factions which are now just issuing statements and slogans in futile marches.” The sources said Hamas also confiscated the rockets that were due to be fired on Israeli targets and warned against repeating the attempt. It did this recently even with many large factions like Islamic Jihad. The resistance factions in Gaza accuse Hamas of wanting to control the resistance and allow the firing of rockets at the time it decides. Resistance sources say Hamas wants to consolidate the fait accompli truce in the Strip and fears its collapse if the firing of rockets was resumed.
Hamas had agreed with the main factions in Gaza after the war, which was launched at the end of last year on the Strip and caused immense destruction and ruin, to stop the firing of rockets, give people time to rest, and coordinate among themselves in the confrontation with Israel so as not to draw it into another war. The movement has been ruling the Gaza Strip since the middle of 2007 and succeeded in managing it and its rule, which Fatah repeatedly expected its collapse, has endured. Hamas remains the largest and strongest faction in the Strip despite the large number of resistance factions. The latter suffer from the scantiness of financial and logistical support, something which Hamas is not short off. It is even helping splits in other factions so that it remains the strongest, as sources explained to Asharq Al-Awsat.
Hamas had previously helped a Fatah activist to establish an organization in parallel to the movement and then allowed Khalid Abu-Hilal to form the “Fatah Al-Yasir” organization and followed the same policy with gunmen from “Fatah” when it helped finance groups in Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Brigades to foil any unification of these brigades in Gaza. Following the establishment of the Popular Resistance Committees and their military wing “Al-Nasir Salahaldin Brigades”, it encouraged leader Abu-Yusuf al-Quqa to split from the brigades’ command which were led by Jamal Abu-Samhadanah, both of whom were assassinated by Israel later on. The sources revealed that Hamas is still pursuing the same policy and helped Abu-Abir, the former leader in Al-Nasir Salahaldin Brigades, to form a new armed group under the name of Al-Furqan Brigades. Abu-Abir is seeking to attract elements from the committees to operate under the new armed group he is leading. The sources added that the movement also financed and backed Abu-Abir after he swore allegiance to Hamas, its policy, and to the Muslim Brotherhood.