Why did Hamas put militiamen back on Gaza streets Saturday less than 24 hours after pulling them out? Hamas has also flatly rejected the Abbas ultimatum

debkafile reveals that the Hamas-Fatah feud turned around twice in the space of three days. The latest revolution has restored Hamas squarely to its former position of defiance of the Palestinian Authority chairman.
Friday, May 26, Palestinian prime minister Ismail Haniya ordered the Hamas-led militia to withdraw from the 40 Gazan squares and intersections its gunmen had been ordered to seize. Control of these key points is the key to dominating the territory. It looked for a moment as though Hamas was giving ground and trying to de-escalate its armed conflict with pro-Abbas gunmen in deference to the PA Chairman’s 10-day referendum ultimatum.
However, the next day, Saturday, May 27, Hamas interior minister Siad Siam (picture) ordered them to redeploy in their former positions.
Were prime minister Haniya and Siam at odds? Our sources report that these developments had little to do with the clashes of the past week or the National Discourse chaired by Abbas the various Palestinian groups have been holding in the last three days. They tie in rather with the unpublicized trip Siam, the Hamas government’s strongman, made to Damascus.
He went there to ask Syria to hurry along the training of Hamas officers and NCOs so that they can return to the Gaza Strip and take up command positions in the independent military force Hamas is fashioning.
After he crossed the border from Gazan Rafah to the Egyptian sector, Egyptian security and intelligence guards at the Sinai roadblocks subjected the Hamas interior minister to jeers and indignities. Siam and his two bodyguards were taken out of their vehicle, which was driven back to the Gaza Strip, leaving him to travel to Cairo in a taxi squeezed in with 10 passengers. At every Sinai roadblock, they were had to submit to painstaking body searches. The Egyptian troops pretended not to recognize their VIP status. Because of the hold-ups, the Hamas minister changed taxis twice. He arrived in Cairo in a rage, only to be lodged in a filthy hotel far from the city center.
This incident occurred a week after the Hamas spokesman returning from Cairo to the Gaza Strip was stopped at the Rafah crossing and the 800,000 euros he was carrying was confiscated by Abu Mazen’s Force 17 presidential guard. Hamas leaders are sure that Egyptian intelligence tipped off Abu Mazen’s men about the cash.
Siam was allowed to take a plane to Damascus. He stopped over in Cairo on May 25, on his return to Gaza. This time, his own car and chauffeur was allowed to pick him up. But before he left the Egyptian capital, the Hamas interior minister made a call at the Egyptian intelligence ministry and saw senior aides of its chief, Gen. Omar Suleiman. They cautioned him sternly not to dare redeploy Hamas militiamen at the strategic squares and junctions of the Gaza Strip.
Siam smiled and promised.
But the moment he reached Gaza, Friday, May 26, he ordered the Hamas militia, in which the terrorist umbrella organization, the Popular Resistance Committees, is incorporated, to return Saturday to their positions.
The Hamas interior minister had three reasons for defying Egypt as well as Abbas:
1. He was afire with the urge for revenge for the humiliations Egypt heaped on him on the outward journey from Gaza.
2. During his absence, the Hamas militia gained a valuable new supplement: the Abu Rish Brigades of the southern Gaza towns of Khan Younis and Deir al Balakh were persuaded to defect from Fatah and join the Hamas militia.
3. A second group, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine threw in its lot with the Hamas struggle for domination against Fatah.
Thursday, May 25, Abu Mazen took a firm stand, determined to regain control of the Palestinian leadership. He laid down an ultimatum for Hamas to endorse the Prisoners Covenant in 10 days, which meant accepting a full Israeli withdrawal to pre-1967 lines, a Palestinian state with Jerusalem its capital and recognizing all previous Palestinian-Israeli accords. There was no requirement to make peace or renounce terrorism. Abbas threatened to hold a referendum in 40 days if the Hamas spurned his program.
By Saturday, May 27, the Palestinian wheel had turned again. A strengthened Hamas militia was back on the streets of Gaza and its leaders, following the lead from Damascus headquarters, flatly rejected the PA Chairman’s ultimatum.

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