(Photo: Tamer Khalifa/FLASH90)

The rivalry between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority has existed for years and has intensified in the past months, notwithstanding the unity government forged in early June this year.

The Palestinian Authority Police have arrested tens of Hamas activists in Judea and Samaria over the past days, according to news sources affiliated with Hamas.

Wedge between Hamas and PA Broadens

The sources further report that the PA has violently dispersed demonstrations marking the “victory” in Gaza, led by Hamas and Islamic Jihad members. These arrests come in the wake of the PA accusing Hamas of commandeering relief sent to the residents of Gaza and using it for its own needs.

The rivalry between the two opponents has existed for years and has intensified in the past months, even after the two rivals joined a unity government in early June this year.

Israel Thwarts Takeover Attempts

In mid-August Israel’s Shabak arrested 93 Hamas activists accused of planning a third intifada with the end goal of overthrowing the PA, setting up terror cells in Jenin, Shechem, east Jerusalem, Ramallah, and Hebron. PA Head Mahmoud Abbas replied to the arrests by saying that he was following the reports with great concern. The wedge further broadened during Operation Protective Edge, as each side was critical of the others conduct.

The PA’s regime in Judea and Samaria relies heavily on Israel’s security forces and has been saved several times by the Israelis actions. The PA is under constant threat of takeover by Hamas, as was the case in Gaza in 2007 when Hamas violently took control of the Strip from the PA. Israel works constantly in PA-controlled areas in Judea and Samaria to eliminate such a recurrence, which would pose a further threat by Hamas to more of Israel’s civilians.

Author: Aryeh Savir
Staff Writer, United with Israel