JERUSALEM – Members of the U.S.-backed Fatah organization recently were caught aiding Hamas in the establishment of a military wing in the strategic West Bank, according to security sources in the Palestinian Authority.
The Obama administration has backed a Fatah-led state in the West Bank. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in November announced a 10-month freeze of Jewish construction in the territory in an attempt to jumpstart talks aimed at creating a West Bank PA state, a move that would first see an Israeli retreat from the area.
Following Israel's evacuation of the Gaza Strip in 2005, Hamas seized the coastal territory, forcibly expelling the U.S.-trained Fatah security forces of PA President Mahmoud Abbas. Now, recent occurrences indicate Hamas is attempting to set the stage for an eventual West Bank takeover.