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Hamas, Palestinian Leadership Scramble to Figure Out who Should Govern Gaza Once War Ends

Mahmoud Abbas. Reuters
Mahmoud Abbas. Reuters

By: Jake Smith, Daily Caller News Foundation

The Hamas terrorist organization is at odds with itself and the Palestinian Authority over how the Gaza Strip and West Bank should be governed after the war with Israel ends, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

Hamas terrorists killed over 1,200 civilians during a mass attack against Israel on Oct. 7, prompting Israel to launch a sweeping counteroffensive in Gaza. Hamas’ political and military leadership and the Palestinian Authority are all in conflict as to how Gaza and the West Bank should be ruled after the war, which Hamas leadership hopes will be soon, according to the WSJ.

“We don’t fight just because we want to fight. We are not partisans of a zero-sum game,” Husam Badran, a member of Hamas’s Qatar-based political wing, told The Wall Street Journal. “We want the war to end … We want to establish a Palestinian state in Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem.”

Infighting between Hamas’ political and military leadership has increased since the Oct. 7 attacks against Israel, according to the WSJ. Hamas’ political wing based out of Qatar’s capital city, Doha, has been in political talks with the Fatah, the ruling Palestinian Authority faction in the West Bank, but Hamas’ military leadership was not informed or included in the discussions and insisted that they be stopped immediately.

Hamas military leader Yahya Sinwar does not believe that Hamas should continue ruling over Gaza, but also believes that the terror group hasn’t yet lost the war against Israel and says it is too soon to bargain, according to the WSJ.

Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which represents the Palestinians at the United Nations, have a historically troubled relationship, but Hamas leadership now says they should join the political body as they believe it would give them representation with the international community, according to the WSJ. Hamas would reportedly join the PLO in the hopes of reestablishing an independent Palestinian state.

“It will be a national dialogue,” Badran said. “We have always said the PLO should contain any Palestinian faction.”

Hamas has additionally continued to maintain secret contact with Fatah leadership over the last several days; however, any potential agreement made between Hamas and Fatah could face rejection from Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, whom neither group has held discussions with, according to the WSJ. Palestinian Authority may be hesitant to form an agreement with Hamas, because Israel has declared it will decimate the latter group.

The U.S. and Israel have had their own separate discussions about what governance over Gaza should look like once Israel eradicates Hamas from the region, according to the WSJ. The U.S. is pressing Israel to allow a revamped Palestinian Authority to govern over Gaza, but Israel has rejected this notion, declaring that while they would not reoccupy, they would maintain security control of the region.

Related Story: ‘There is a Disagreement’: Netanyahu Smacks Down Biden’s Postwar Plans for Gaza Governance

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