Is Hamas trying to establish a new Fatah armed wing?


Staff member
Is Hamas trying to establish a new Fatah armed wing?
The Gaza-based group said that its members held general elections and elected Salem Thabet as “commander-in-chief” of the Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.
Published: MAY 21, 2022

In a surprise move, the armed wing of Fatah in the Gaza Strip, the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, announced on Friday that it has elected a new commander-in-chief, drawing sharp criticism from the group’s members in the West Bank. Fatah activists claimed that the announcement was part of an attempt by Hamas to control the brigades and drive a wedge between its members in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Other activists said that they did not rule out the possibility that deposed Fatah operative Mohammed Dahlan, who is based in the United Arab Emirates and is considered an archrival of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, was behind the move. Dahlan, a former PA security commander, is known to have many supporters in the Gaza Strip, where he was born and raised. He moved to the Gulf state in 2011 after a quarrel with Abbas.

Fatah, the largest faction of the PLO, is headed by Abbas. After Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007, it allowed some Fatah-affiliated armed groups, including the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades (AMB), to continue operating there. Hamas has also allowed Dahlan loyalists to operate freely in the Gaza Strip.