Senior officials in Jerusalem reportedly believe a Gaza-style takeover of the West Bank by Hamas may be in the offing, citing intelligence estimates that show the Iran-backed terror group making a move for control of the Palestinian-ruled territory.
Military Intelligence and the Shin Bet security service both have information that Hamas political chief Khaled Mashaal has ordered his supporters to prepare for a battle for control of the West Bank, the Sunday Times reported on Sunday.
The move is feared by both Israel and the Palestinian Authority’s ruling Fatah party, which has seen its popularity on the Arab street wane in the face of the more hard-line Hamas movement.
“We’re on the verge of catastrophe,” Tawfik Tirawi, a senior Fatah member, told the paper. ”Hamas wants intifada and now only a spark is needed to light the inferno. Hamas will take over the West Bank.”