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January 27, 1989 - Image 19

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-01-27

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.





their impact on the Palestin-
ian- masses.
While Abu Jihad was able
to keep Hamas within the
framework of PLO activities,
it was only a matter of time
before the fundamentalists
found they could not stomach
the doctrinaire communism
of the rejectionists, many of
whom happened to be Chris-
tians.
By this time, however, the
PLO had achieved its pur-
pose: it was able to take full
credit for the intifada and,
once again, Arafat was a cen-
tral player in the Arab-Israeli
conflict.
Following the assassination
of Abu Jihad and the with-
drawal of Hamas from the
Unified Committee, the fun-
damentalists became increas-
ingly estranged from the con-
ventional political forces and
entered their own indepen-
dent orbit. Today, they issue
their own leaflets and order
their own strikes and protest
actions.
The estrangement reached
a climax at the time of Ara-
fat's diplomatic pyrotechnics
in Geneva last month. lb
mark the occasion, Hamas
produced a series of leaflets
which expressed bitter oppo-
sition to any political com-
promise and to the proposed
international peace confer-
ence. It attacked the PLO
leader for selling Palestine
cheaply and vowed never to
relinquish "even one speck of
dust of the homeland's earth."
Most significantly, the leaf-
lets revealed a series of bloody
> clashes between Hamas sup-
porters and PLO loyalists
throughout the occupied ter-
ritories. According to one
report, groups of Hamas fol-
lowers attacked the offices of
the Red Crescent organiza-
tion in Gaza, considered to be
a stronghold of the PLO, and
beat PLO activists with iron
chains.
-- Having effectively consoli-
dated their power in Gaza,
Hamas is now seeking to
spread its influence to the
West Bank, where its follow-
ers assiduously erase PLO
graffiti and destroy the homes
of communists.
Hamas, which publishes
Islamic Palestine, a London-
based color magazine, is now
seeking to impose an Islamic
gloss on the intifada and is
seriously - challenging all
streams of the PLO for control
of the street.
"We have proved to the
secular leadership of the PLO
that without coordination
with us, there is normal acti-
vity on days when it calls for
strikes," boasted one Hamas
leader. "But when we call for
strikes, the Arab towns of the

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

19

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