As tensions between Palestinians and Israel escalate amid a wave of raids throughout the West Bank, the secular Fatah movement and Gaza's Hamas are also facing strains.
Following remarks made by Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki on Friday – that if Hamas turned out to be behind the kidnapping of the three Israeli youths then the recent reconciliation deal would be jeopardized – has spurred a harsh reaction from the Islamic organization.
Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu-Zuhri said al-Malki's remarks "reflect his dubious positions." He noted that even as the kidnapping story remains an Israeli version of events, the policy of kidnapping soldiers and settlers is "not a crime, but a source of pride for Palestinians." Al-Malki had also said that if they reached the conclusion that Hamas was responsible, "then the president [Mahmoud Abbas] will take drastic decisions."
Meanwhile, as clashes with IDF forces intensify, Hamas parliamentary members said the organization "will come out strong from the current confrontation with the IDF."
Fathi al Karawi from the West Bank city of Tulkarem said the IDF's operation against Hamas is hurting the organization but that "it would continue to operate even as damage is being
"Hamas will not break," Samira Al-Halika, a parliamentarian from Dura, a Palestinian town south of Hebron told the weekly newspaper al-Risala. She accused Israel of planning its operations against Hamas and their institutions in the West Bank regardless of the kidnapping incident. "Hamas will remain strong and unified, despite the attacks against its people and institutions."
Meanwhile, amid a hunger strike among Palestinian security prisoners reaches its 60th day, Islamic Jihad leader Ahmed al-Mudallal called on all factions "to expand their activity against Israel."
As the 280 prisoners strike to protest their indefinite captivity without charge, al-Mudallal spoke in front of Rthe Red Crescent in Gaza, telling his listeners, "every Palestinian must bare responsibility for the prisoners who are in danger."