Islamic Jihad, the small fundamentalist movement in Gaza, has virtually ceased cooperation with Hamas. According to the daily Asharq Al-Awsat, Islamic Jihad is angered by the heavy-handed crackdown Hamas is waging in the Gaza Strip, including arrests, attacks and raiding of the movement’s office. Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in a bloody coup, ousting the PLO’s Fatah in January 2007. Ideologically similar, Hamas and Islamic Jihad have partnered in the past. But now sources within the Islamic Jihad movement say tensions are so bad that interaction between them have ceased. They have also claimed Hamas was trying to form gangs within the police departments to attack political opponents. There have been periodic gunfights between Hamas’ Al-Qassam Brigades and the Islamic Jihad’s Al-Quds Brigades.
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