US embassy cable - 92TELAVIV6841

MINI-WAR BETWEEN ISLAMIC JIHAD ORGANIZATION AND HAMAS IN GAZA

Identifier: 92TELAVIV6841
Wikileaks: View 92TELAVIV6841 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Tel Aviv
Created: 1992-05-14 13:45:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREL KPAL IS KISL
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
R 141345Z MAY 92
FM AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 1441
INFO ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
C O N F I D E N T I A L TEL AVIV 06841 
 
 
E.O. 12356:DECL:  OADR 
TAGS:  PREL, KPAL, IS, KISL 
SUBJECT:  MINI-WAR BETWEEN ISLAMIC JIHAD ORGANIZATION 
          AND HAMAS IN GAZA 
 
1.  CONFIDENTIAL - ENTIRE TEXT. 
 
2.  GAZAN CONTACTS CLAIM THAT A "MINI-WAR" BETWEEN HAMAS 
AND THE ISLAMIC JIHAD ORGANIZATION (IJO) HAS BEEN TAKING 
PLACE OVER THE PAST TWO MONTHS.  THESE CONTACTS TOLD 
POLOFF THAT THE DISPUTE BETWEEN THE TWO ISLAMIC 
FUNDAMENTALIST GROUPS HAS RESULTED IN SEVERAL CLASHES 
WHICH HAVE LEFT TWO HAMAS MEMBERS AND ONE IJO MEMBER 
DEAD.  THE DISPUTE HAS ALSO RESULTED IN A "BATTLE" FOR 
CONTROL OF MOSQUES IN GAZA.  ONE SOURCE ASSERTED THAT 
HAMAS ACTIVISTS HAD RECENTLY DESTROYED A LIBRARY 
BELONGING TO THE IJO. 
 
3.  ONE SOURCE OF FRICTION, ACCORDING TO OUR CONTACTS, 
HAS BEEN HAMAS ATTEMPTS TO ENLIST IJO SUPPORT IN ITS 
RECENT CLASHES WITH FATAH (REPORTEDLY OVER THE PEACE 
PROCESS) WHICH RESULTED IN SEVERAL KILLINGS AND 
CASUALTIES DURING THE PAST THREE MONTHS.  THE IJO 
APPARENTLY REJECTED THESE EFFORTS AND INSTEAD BEGAN A 
SMEAR CAMPAIGN AGAINST ONE OF HAMAS' LEADERS, MAHMOUD 
AL-ZAHAR, ACCUSING HIM IN A WIDELY-DISTRIBUTED PAMPHLET 
OF BEING AN "ISRAELI COLLABORATOR." 
 
4.  THE TWO GROUPS ALSO REPORTEDLY DIFFER OVER THE 
EXTENT TO WHICH ISLAM SHOULD DIRECT THE POLITICAL AGENDA 
OF FUNDAMENTALIST GROUPS IN GAZA.  IJO AND THE OTHER 
ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALIST GROUP IN GAZA, "AL-DAWAH" (A 
SUNNI GROUP UNRELATED TO THE SHIA GROUP RESPONSIBLE FOR 
TERRORIST ACTS IN THE GULF), REPORTEDLY HAVE ATTACKED 
HAMAS FOR ITS WILLINGNESS TO FAVOR "POLITICAL" 
ACCOMMODATION OVER THE UNCOMPROMISING REJECTIONIST 
APPROACH OF THE MORE FUNDAMENTALIST IJO. 
 
5.  COMMENT:  GAZAN CONTACTS TOLD US THAT HAMAS HAS 
SIGNALLED RENEWED INTEREST TO PARTICIPATE IN A MUNICIPAL 
COUNCIL IN GAZA, IF THAT ISSUE SURFACES AGAIN.  ISRAELI 
OFFICIALS, TOO, HAVE ASSERTED THAT HAMAS IN GAZA HAS 
RECENTLY SHOWN A PRAGMATIC STREAK ON POLITICAL ISSUES. 
WHILE THESE REPORTED IJO CLAIMS ON HAMAS ORIENTATION MAY 
BE JUSTIFIED, HAMAS CONTINUES TO EXERCISE ITS MILITARY 
AND REJECTIONIST SIDES AS WELL. 
 
 
CLARKE 

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