Fatah Clan Loses PA Support
RAMALLAH [MENL] -- The Palestinian Authority has decided to abandon a Fatah
clan in the Gaza Strip.
Palestinian officials said PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas was forced to
reverse his decision to allow about 100 members of the Hilles clan to
relocate to the West Bank city of Ramallah in August 2008. They said Fatah
leaders from the Gaza Strip argued that the clan, led by Ahmed Hilles,
facilitated the takeover of Hamas in June 2007.
"Abbas was told that the Hilles clan was a main reason for the Hamas
takeover [of the Gaza Strip] and should not be welcomed to the West Bank,"
an official said.
On Aug. 2, officials said Abbas and PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad
appealed to Israel and the United States to allow about 200 members of the
Hilles clan to enter Israel from the Gaza Strip. They said Abbas and Fayyad
assured Israel that the fleeing clan members, sought by Hamas, would be
hosted by the PA in the West Bank.
Hours later, Abbas and Fayyad reversed their decision. The PA chairman,
facing opposition from the hundreds of PA officials and security officers
who fled the Hamas takeover, demanded that Hilles clan members return to the
Gaza Strip and face imprisonment.