The Fatah Central Committee has decided to move to Jericho all security officials who fled to the West Bank in the aftermath of Hamas’ takeover of Gaza two weeks ago, an official source in Ramallah said, under the condition of anonymity.
Currently staying at luxury hotels in Ramallah, around 200 members of the collapsed Gaza preventive and intelligence security services will soon be transferred to military camps in Jericho City.
The source viewed this step as part of intensive measures by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud ‘Abbas and the Fatah leadership to enforce the law and prevent moving the battle to the West Bank.
With Hamas forces threatening their lives, hundreds of Fatah security officials made the harrowing journey to safety, evading Hamas checkpoints, and crawling part of the way to the Erez checkpoint en route to the West Bank.
Meanwhile, another 200 Fatah officials fleeing aboard fishing boats on the Mediterranean Sea have crossed into Egypt from the Gaza Strip.
“They have been transferred to camps affiliated with Egyptian security forces,” the source confirmed, adding, “all of them have left their families and property behind.”
Most of the Fatah officials were believed to have fled when Gaza’s Preventive Security Service headquarters were taken over by Hamas gunmen.
Hamas has completed the conquest of the coastal enclave, routing Fatah security forces in five days of intense and bloody fighting.
Meanwhile, tens of Fatah supporters, including their wives and children, are still jamming the Erez terminal seeking Israeli permission to cross to the West Bank.
Abbas Tuesday issued a decree calling for the disarmament of all armed groups in the West Bank. The ban applies to armed militias, including the Fatah Al-Aqsa Brigades.
This is the second decree issued by Abbas since the Hamas takeover of Gaza. The first was issued almost a week ago and outlawed the Executive Forces, aka Tanfezya, and other Hamas armed groups, including Al-Qassam militia.
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Many observers’ believe the Palestinian security forces will be moving against armed groups in the West Bank to force them to hand over their weapons and join the official security forces.
Abbas’ decisions to form an emergency government in Ramallah and boycott Hamas have generated wide international support, including the renewal of both the flow of funds and the restoration of P.A. relations with Israel, the United States and many other key countries.