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Thursday, January 28, 2010     FOR YOUR EYES ONLY

Al Qaida joins forces with Fatah against Hamas

GAZA CITY — The Fatah-supported opposition, with help from Al Qaida-aligned elements, continues to target Hamas security forces.   

Palestinian sources said Fatah and Al Qaida-aligned elements were collaborating in a campaign to destabilize the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip. They said Fatah was engaging Islamist fighters to attack both Hamas security forces as well as businessmen close to the Hamas regime.

"The attacks have been taking place about every week," a Palestinian source said.

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In January 2010, Al Qaida-aligned elements detonated at least six bombs around Gaza City and Khan Yunis. The targets were said to have included businesses owned by those close to Hamas as well as Christians.

The opposition campaign has also targeted Hamas security officers. On Jan. 26, a bomb exploded in a car owned by a Hamas Navy officer in Gaza City. The car, owned by navy police officer Maher Ibrahim Al Li, was heavily damaged.

The sources said this marked the second bombing against a Hamas security officer around Gaza City in as many weeks. On Jan. 13, a bomb exploded under a police vehicle near a police station in the city. The vehicle was also owned by a naval police officer.

"It's not clear whether the naval police was being targeted or this was just a coincidence," the source said.

So far, Hamas has not announced any arrests in the investigation of the bombings.

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