Are More Guns on Tap for Al-Fatah in Gaza?
<body><div id="article"><tr><td height="28" valign="middle" width="184"></td><td valign="middle" width="185"></td></tr><h1>Are More Guns on Tap for Fatah in Gaza?</h1><p>May 22 (LPAC)--The United States last week had sent diplomatic messages to the Palestinians stating that the U.S. would, if requested, send further aid to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah organization to bolster the group in its conflict with Hamas, the <em>WorldNetDaily</em> reported. Washington-based intelligence sources had confirmed to <em>EIR</em> last week that the Bush administration was committed to this policy of using Fatah to weaken Hamas.</p><p>American and Israeli diplomatic sources told the <em>WorldNetDaily</em> that Major General Keith Dayton, the U.S. security coordinator for the Gaza Strip and West Bank, passed messages to Abbas that the U.S. would aid Fatah with assault rifles and ammunition. The sources also said that Dayton urged Israel to provide assistance to bolster Abbas's security forces in Gaza - particularly Force 17, which also serves as a de facto police force.</p><p>This is despite the fact that many members of Force 17 make no secret of being members of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades as well. <em>WorldNet</em> daily points out that Israel routinely arrests Force 17 members accused of carrying out shooting attacks against Israelis. It was reported last week that Hamas had confiscated a shipment of American rifles sent to Fatah. On May 19, a Fatah gunman shot a Hamas member when a convoy of three trucks was stopped by Hamas at a makeshift checkpoint at Dabit Circle, a northern Gaza town, according to Hamas sources. Hamas abducted 18 Fatah gunmen and seized stockpiles of American weapons that were destined for Fatah.</p></div></body>