The West’s implication in the Hamas- Fatah rivalry

3 Aug

While it is important to condemn Israel’s human rights violations in the Occupied Territories, political groups within Palestine should also be censured for engaging in similar acts.

The latest report by Al- Haq documented politically motivated arbitrary and detention and widespread torture cases in both Gaza Strip and West Bank committed by Hamas and Fatah groups.

In Gaza, such abuses are committed by the Executive force and Hamas- backed Izz-al-Din al-Qassam Brigades while the Fatah, which has control of the West Bank,  did so, through its PNA security agencies, particularly the Preventive Security Force and General Intelligence Service. According to the findings, these tortures and arbitrary detention practices are used for political means.

While this blog urges both groups to cease such human rights violations, the clash between both Hamas and Fatah must also be seen in the context of the power struggle.

The West, in particular, has a responsibility for the current mess given that it has chosen to engage with the supposedly more moderate Fatah group (and chose to isolate Hamas) in the process. Such a strategy has inevitably bred ill-feelings on both parties; as well as, placing a strain on the fight for national unity.

As this blog has called for repeatedly, such a deadlock caused by factional in-fighting can only be resolved by negotiating with both groups. Hamas, which won through democratic elections and has control of Gaza, would be committed to the peace negotiations and respecting human rights, if given a chance, to do so. Fatah would also be less wiling to commit such atrocities if it knows that doing so would invite censure from the international community (which views both parties as equally important in the negotiations). As such, both groups would have a greater incentive to reject violence and engage in peaceful negotiations.

Al- Haq 2008, Torturing Each Other The Widespread Practices of Arbitrary Detention and Torture in the Palestinian Territory, accessed 29 July 2008.


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