Dramatic escalation in the violent confrontations between Hamas and Fatah. Hamas has taken over extensive areas of the Gaza Strip as the collapse of Fatah and the security forces accelerates


1. The frail ceasefire between Hamas and Fatah which went into effect at the end of the last round of confrontations (May 13-19) collapsed completely after the talks in Cairo failed. Behind the new round of confrontations, the seventh since Hamas came to power, are Hamas� refusal to accept Abu Mazen�s initiative (the ten-point plan), the abiding mutual hatred and loss of faith between the sides inflamed by virulent propaganda.

Armed men in the streets of Gaza City (Al-Aqsa TV, June 12).