RAMALLAH, West Bank, Jan. 1 (UPI) -- Israel's airstrikes on Gaza have exposed the rift between Palestinians who want to make peace with Israel and those who support Hamas, observers said.
In the West Bank, the power base for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, sympathies for Hamas are rising even as authorities suppress pro-Hamas demonstrations and blame the militants for the collapse of a six-month truce with Israel, The Washington Post reported Thursday.
Hamas accused Abbas, from the rival Fatah party, of being an Israeli collaborator, considered one of worst insults for a Palestinian, the Post said.
Fatah and Hamas disagree about the Palestinian stance regarding Israel. Fatah supports negotiations and the establishment of a Palestinian states existing beside Israel. Hamas never recognized Israel and advocates resistance.
The infighting has been almost as disheartening for Palestinians as the Israeli offensive in Gaza, a Palestinian lawmaker told the Post, and the establishment of a Palestinian state appears more distant.
"The fragmentation has really frustrated the population," said Qais Abdul Karim, a Palestinian Legislative Council member who is neither Fatah nor Hamas. "There is no unity in the national movement and no unity in the street. These attacks have increased the divisions. They should have done the opposite."