Hamas executes Gaza clan ‘prince’ in message to potential ‘collaborators’

Hamas terrorists in Gaza City, March, 25, 2017. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90.

(JNS) — Hamas has executed a “prince” of the Doghmush clan in Gaza City, sources in Gaza said on March 14. The killing was a message to those considering cooperating with Israel, which is looking for ways to bypass the terror group in the enclave, according to the sources.

Israel has floated the idea of Gaza clans acting as partners in running the internal affairs of the Strip after Hamas has been eliminated. In January, Israel’s National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi and Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer submitted a plan to the Security Cabinet that looked to the clans to form part of the backbone of a post-war civil administration.

Pro-Hezbollah Lebanese news station Al-Mayadeen reported that the clans have rejected the proposal.

“We will remain supporters of the resistance, and the management of the Strip is an internal matter,” they said, according to the report.

“Even if there are tribes that want to say yes to Israel and participate in the management of the Strip, they know that this is a danger to their lives because Hamas has not yet been completely destroyed,” said a Palestinian source, cited by Israel Hayom on March 12.

The Hebrew daily said that given Hamas’s continued hold on parts of the Gaza Strip, it’s hard to see the families taking action in the direction of Israel — the statement by some clans in support of “the resistance” being a case in point.

However, according to Khaled Abu Toameh, JNS contributor and fellow at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Gaza sources report that some clans linked to the Palestinian Authority have started to challenge Hamas in recent weeks.

“These clans, known to have dozens of armed members, began operating their own enforcers in some towns and refugee camps in the Gaza Strip to prevent looting and other acts of anarchy and lawlessness,” he wrote.

“At least one clan was reportedly involved in escorting some of the trucks loaded with humanitarian aid that entered the Gaza Strip through Egypt and Israel,” he added.

Hamas and the P.A. are competing for the clans’ support as they understand this support is “crucial” for whoever seeks to control the Gaza Strip, he said.

“That’s why P.A. and Hamas leaders have always treated the large families and their leaders with utmost respect. In some instances, clan leaders were elevated to the unofficial position of supreme judges and arbitrators, replacing the official judiciary and law enforcement of both organizations,” he said.