Palestinian gunslinger a member of both Fatah and Hamas

From Der Spiegel comes the gripping story of Abu Khaled, a 23-year-old security man for Fatah who moonlights as a Hamas militant. When Abu Khaled’s workday ends… he goes home, changes his uniform, pulls out his weapons and transforms himself into a fighter with the Qassam Brigades—the military arm of Hamas. If his fellow Fatah ...

605302_abu_khaled5.jpg
605302_abu_khaled5.jpg

From Der Spiegel comes the gripping story of Abu Khaled, a 23-year-old security man for Fatah who moonlights as a Hamas militant.

When Abu Khaled's workday ends... he goes home, changes his uniform, pulls out his weapons and transforms himself into a fighter with the Qassam Brigades—the military arm of Hamas. If his fellow Fatah security officers knew what he did at night, he says, "they would open fire on us immediately."

And he's not alone: Abu Khaled estimates that about 30 percent of the official Palestinian security forces are Hamas men at heart. That explains why reporters have so much trouble figuring out just who is shooting at whom when the violence breaks out in Gaza.

From Der Spiegel comes the gripping story of Abu Khaled, a 23-year-old security man for Fatah who moonlights as a Hamas militant.

When Abu Khaled’s workday ends… he goes home, changes his uniform, pulls out his weapons and transforms himself into a fighter with the Qassam Brigades—the military arm of Hamas. If his fellow Fatah security officers knew what he did at night, he says, “they would open fire on us immediately.”

And he’s not alone: Abu Khaled estimates that about 30 percent of the official Palestinian security forces are Hamas men at heart. That explains why reporters have so much trouble figuring out just who is shooting at whom when the violence breaks out in Gaza.

From Abu Khaled’s description of the differences in training between the Fatah-dominated official security forces and the Hamas fighters, it sounds like the latter would prevail in an all-out battle for control of Gaza. Abu Khaled joined Hamas because Fatah is “too soft” to take on the Israelis.

What happens if Hamas’s armed wing attacks his Fatah unit? He likes his friends in Fatah, but his ultimate loyalty is to Hamas:

If we are attacked by the Qassam Brigades, I will identify myself and switch to their side.”

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