A Bloody Taste of Civil War

Yasser Arafat answers the challenge from Gaza's Islamic militants with lethal force, raising fears of worse fratricide to come

Yasser Arafat's security forces in the Gaza Strip, nearly all of them veterans of the battle against Israel, faced a new foe last week: the enemy within. They answered the challenge from Gaza's Islamic militants in precisely the same way that the Israeli occupiers had done -- bluntly, and with lethal force. By the time the bloody fraternal clashes had simmered down, 15 Palestinians were dead, another 200 were crowding the hospitals and hundreds more were behind bars.

More than that, the people of the Gaza Strip were filled with a dread that worse was still to come, that the countdown...

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