Pro-Hamas and pro-Fatah Palestinians fought each other Sunday evening at the Al Aqsa Mosque Compound on Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Israel’s capital city.
The Sunday evening confrontation is one of several clashes between the rival groups in Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories as support for the militant group Hamas is growing among Palestinians in east Jerusalem — which has traditionally been mostly pro-Fatah — the Jerusalem Post reported.
תיעוד יוצא דופן ממסגד אל-אקצא: עשרות פעילי פת”ח מפגינים ברחבת המסגד, מניפים דגלי הארגון עם תמונת ערפאת וקוראים:” אנחנו אנשי אבו עמאר (ערפאת)” . ממול, פעילי חמאס שקוראים “אנחנו אנשי מוחמד דף”. pic.twitter.com/aQwR42zaJn— סולימאן מסוודה سليمان مسودة (@SuleimanMas1) May 23, 2021
Palestinian Authority mufti Muhammed Hussein was expelled from al-Aqsa mosque by worshippers on Friday after he neglected to mention the Palestinians who were killed during Israel’s military assault #Gaza in his sermon. pic.twitter.com/WxK3kcpgks— Middle East Eye (@MiddleEastEye) May 21, 2021
Hamas is a Sunni Islamic, fundamentalist, Islamist, and Palestinian nationalist militant group. The faction, which rules Gaza and maintains a significant presence in Judea and Samaria — also known as the West Bank — is considered a terrorist group by the United States, Israel, Japan, and several other countries.
Hamas’ armed wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, regularly clashes with Israel, with the most recent conflict between the terrorist group and Israel stretching across the last two weeks. Hamas leaders have claimed that the group receives support from Iran and Qatar, according to the Times of Israel.
Fatah, formally known as the Palestinian National Liberation Movement, is a social-democratic, Palestinian nationalist political party. Israel and the United States considered Fatah a terror group until it formally renounced terrorism. It is the largest faction of the PLO and played a major role in establishing the PA, whose current President Mahmoud Abbas is a Fatah member.
Both Fatah and Hamas will be contesting in the now-postponed Palestinian elections. Though it fails to win in armed confrontations with Israel, Hamas has seen a gradual increase in the support it receives from Palestinians due to its efforts in violently engaging with Israel, according to the BBC.