Sunday, January 28, 2007
Fatah is willing to sustain 200 to 500 dead to prevail over Hamas in Gaza, Hamas Damascus-based leader Khaled Meshaal is warned
DEBKAfile Exclusive: Fatah is willing to sustain 200 to 500 dead to prevail over Hamas in Gaza, Hamas Damascus-based leader Khaled Meshaal is warned
January 27, 2007, 1:29 PM (GMT+02:00)
Mahmoud Abbas’ close associate, the Palestinian-Kurdish tycoon Mohammed Rashid, flew into Damascus Saturday night, Jan 27, with an ultimatum for Meshaal. During the day, Palestinian casualties from Hamas-Fatah factional battles rose to 25 with dozens of wounded. Rashid told the Hamas leader that this was his last chance for a ceasefire. If he agreed, Abbas would return to the negotiating table and go back to the proposals they had discussed when they met in Damascus last week. If not, his Fatah forces were ready to sustain up to 500 dead to win control of Gaza. Abbas lieutenant Mohammed Dahlan is commanding the Fatah side.
DEBKAfile’s military sources report that Saturday both factions turned their guns on each other’s senior commanders. Fatah death squads stormed Hamas mosques, seized and executed three officers of Hamas’ special units. Hamas reciprocated by eliminating Fatah commanders.