Seeing the conciliatory images from Washington that displayed Palestinian and Israeli leaders sitting at the same table, Hamas decided to raise its voice. While premier Benyamin Netanyahu and president Abu Mazen (Mahmud Abbas) ended their meeting, the armed wing of Hamas (the Ezzedin al-Qassam Brigades) sent its spokesperson Abu Obeida to the streets to announce a cooperation agreement with another 12 Palestinian fighting groups.

Abu Obeida, who claimed that new attacks are possible after the two recent ones in the West Bank, announced that ''On August 30 we set up a common operations room''. Hamas and its allies will also strike in Israel and he warned that the return of suicide attacks cannot be ruled out. Two of the groups (Islamic Jihad and the Peoples' resistance committees) were already gravitating around the al-Qassam Brigades. The others are deemed to be of small size, at least in Gaza. Meaningfully, some of the groups mentioned by Obeida (Saif al-Islam Brigades, al-Ansar Brigades, Humat al-Aqsa) seem to be connected to the Salafist movement, which is pro Al Qaeda.

In recent weeks Hamas drastically increased the virulence of its verbal attacks on Abu Mazen. from Damascus Khaled Mashaal, the political leader of Hamas, accused him of leading the Palestinian issue ''to the slave market'' when he accepted negotiations under the patronage of US president Barack Obama.
From Gaza another Hamas leader, Khalil al-Haya, warned that ''the heads of PNA leaders will be trampled by the Hamas militia'' should Abu Mazen give in to Israel. Yesterday Mahmud al-Zahar, the Hamas strong man in Gaza, stated that ''the West bank must be freed, just like Gaza was set free'' with the bloody coup against the PNa in June 2007.

Pro-Hamas websites believe that ''Ramallah will become a new Baghdad'', in other words that some day pro-Wet Palestinians could be targeted. Another website calls for ''people's tribunals'' for Palestinians negotiating with Israel. Already today the members of PNA security organisations are labelled by Hamas as ''criminals and cowards'' because of the wave of arrests that followed this week's attack against four Israeli civilians that were killed near Hebron, in the West Bank.

According to the humanitarian organisation Pchr in the West Bank the PNA has arrested at least 150 Hamas activists, and hundreds more were questioned. Daily paper Haaretz explained that these massive investigations are driven by substantial foreign funds received by Hamas, especially through Palestinian businessmen. Abu Mazen's security services were caught off guard and are trying to make up for lost time. Haaretz claimed that they have the feeling that sleeper cells in the West Bank received orders and means to destabilise the situation.

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