International

Taking on Hamas

Mahmoud Abbas flexes his muscles:

“I’m making every effort to keep the truce,” he said. “I don’t want or accept a civil war. But if they insist on breaking the truce without abiding by the consensus, let them bear the responsibility.” The Palestinian Authority, he said, would enforce the law and tolerate “no alternative so-called government or authority.”

In gun battles Thursday and Friday that shocked many Palestinians, Hamas guerrillas fought Palestinian Authority police officers who tried to stop them from shooting Qassam rockets and mortars at Israeli targets.

Hamas leaders, pressed by Egyptian mediators now in Gaza, are pulling back from confrontation.

Gene cautions: We’ve been here before. I hope this time it’s for real and sustained.

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