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The unlikely Palestinian civil war
[Daily Edition]
Jerusalem Post - Jerusalem
Author: NEILL LOCHERY
Date: Feb 4, 2002
Start Page: 06
Section: Opinion
Abstract (Document Summary)

Contrary to statements issued by the PFLP on Saturday, the arrest of the leader of the radical Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Ahmed Saadat by Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat last month does not increase the threat of a Palestinian civil war involving the radical Palestinian groups and the PA.

The vast majority of the Palestinian population is secular in nature, and is turned off by the prospect of an Islamic fundamentalist Palestinian state (the ideological cornerstone of Hamas and Islamic Jihad's program).

RELATIONS BETWEEN the radical groups and Arafat are extremely complex. At times, Hamas, in particular, has shown signs of a willingness to operate within the political structure of the PA. The most notable example was the debate within Hamas about participation in the 1995 Palestinian elections. A leaked Hamas internal memo illustrates how intense the debate on this issue became.

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