Mahmoud Abbas: Pressing the Flesh for Peace
The Palestinians Split
Abbas shakes hands with Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas during a short-lived effort to create a unity government in March 2007. A year earlier, Hamas won a decisive election victory that made it the ruling party in the Palestinian Authority. Abbas' Fatah party, backed by the Bush Administration, refused to share power with its more radical opponent. A battle for control in Gaza in 2007 led to the violent ejection of security forces loyal to Fatah. That left Hamas in control of the besieged territory, while Abbas and his security forces remained in control of the West Bank.
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