A Power Play In Hamas

Israel's assassination of Abdel Aziz Rantisi, Hamas' leader in Gaza, has thrown the Islamic movement's chiefs into a panic. Coming less than a month after Israel eliminated Hamas founder Sheik Ahmed Yassin, Rantisi's killing forced underground Gaza's political leaders. It also dangerously deepened fissures between the group's military and political factions. Fighters in its military wing, Izzedine al-Qassam, fear that surviving political leaders are less committed than Rantisi was to attacking Israel, say senior Hamas sources in Gaza. Izzedine al-Qassam members want to strike back at Israel soon to avenge Rantisi's death and send a signal to the Bush Administration. They...

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