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Hamas, PIJ ‘Attracting’ Many Palestinians, Top Fatah Official Tells Post

Khaled Abu Toameh

Jerusalem Post, Aug. 13, 2022

“The Palestinian security forces stay in their headquarters when the Israeli Army enters the Palestinian areas. They don’t do anything to defend the people. In the eyes of many Palestinians, the Palestinian Authority’s role has been limited to issuing traffic tickets, carrying out some arrests and collecting taxes.”

Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad are taking advantage of the weakness of the ruling Fatah faction and the infighting within its ranks to strengthen their presence in the West Bank, Jamal Tirawi, a senior Fatah official, warned over the weekend.

Tirawi revealed that many Fatah activists were turning to the two terrorist groups because they have lost confidence in their leaders.

But they don’t go to Hamas and Islamic Jihad for ideological reasons, he pointed out, rather because the two groups offer them various forms of aid.

The Fatah leadership has created a vacuum, and other Palestinian groups are moving to fill it by recruiting the young men,” he said. “Fatah needs to get its act together and endorse democracy and reforms. When Fatah is absent, everything is possible. Fatah doesn’t even have a political program.”

He attributed the rising power and popularity of Hamas and Islamic Jihad to the fact that Fatah was continuing to lose ground in the West Bank.

“Hamas and Islamic Jihad are continuing to grow, especially in the southern and northern parts of the West Bank,” said the 56-year-old former member of the Palestinian Legislative Council who lives in the Balata refugee camp near Nablus. “This will spread to other parts of the West Bank.”

Tirawi, who is closely associated with Fatah-linked armed groups in the Nablus area, told The Jerusalem Post that he expected an escalation of the violence and tensions in wake of the IDF’s ongoing crackdown on armed groups.

“We are headed toward an escalation,” he said. “We saw what happened when the Israeli Army surrounded [slain gunman] Ibrahim al-Nabulsi and his friends last week. Many people from various organizations engaged the Israeli Army.Source

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