It’s not just Israel that is worried about Hamas terrorism. The Palestinian Authority, itself run by the Fatah terror group, is concerned that Hamas, which controls Gaza, will try to further its influence in PA-controlled areas of Judea and Samaria. A PA report quoted by Israel Radio said that such a development would be bad for Israel, as well as for the PA.
Hamas already has a high level of influence in many PA cities and towns in Judea and Samaria, and Hamas candidates have in the past won key elections in towns and campuses at PA universities. According to the new report, Hamas will in the coming year begin carving out more extensive spheres of influence.
Among the actions Hamas is expected to take will be setting up a rocket manufacturing system in Judea and Samaria, similar to the system in Gaza that Hamas has used to fire tens of thousands of rockets at Israel. Those rockets would most likely be aimed at Israel, although they could be used to threaten Fatah supporters and institutions.
The report comes on the same day that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is set to arrive in Israel, in his latest attempt to persuade Israel and the PA to agree to an interim agreement that would require Israel to commit to withdrawing from land in Judea and Samaria. The PA has demanded that Israel withdraw from all of Judea and Samaria and most of Jerusalem and agree to the repatriation of descendants of Arabs who fled Israel in 1948 to their predecessors’ homes.
In a separate report, Egyptian officials said Thursday that they had information that Hamas was planning terror attacks in Egypt. Hamas is close to the Muslim Brotherhood organization, whose leader, Mohammed Morsi, was booted out of power in Egypt by the army and is currently in prison. Hamas, together with the Brotherhood, is planning a series of attacks, including attacks on churches in northern Sinai, the report said.
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