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Palestinian factions entrenched in rival bases

Palestinian factions entrenched in rival bases
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With the Gaza Strip under Hamas control and the West Bank dominated by Fatah, the divisions between Palestinians are deeper than ever and now run along territorial lines. This is the situation after several days of intense fighting that saw the ruling Islamist Hamas group drive the Fatah faction of President Mahmoud Abbas out of Gaza.

Around a hundred people have died. Abbas has declared a state of emergency, dissolved the unity government, and nominated a new prime minister to replace Ismail Haniyeh. But with Hamas rejecting these moves the scene is set for two rival authorities operating in their respective power bases just 45 kilometres apart.

There is still talk of dialogue from both camps. But, like their counterparts, Fatah militants staging their on show of strength in the West Bank, demonstrated little appetite for compromise. Caught in the middle are the hard-pressed Palestinian people, now looking to an uncertain future. Their hopes of an eventual Palestinian state now seem more remote than ever before.

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