This file photo taken on July 20, 2017 shows fighters from the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Palestinian Hamas movement, marching in the streets in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Yunis. AFP / SAID KHATIB
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Hamas' weapons may block path to unityTheir faces covered with black balaclavas, AK-47s in hand, Hamas' armed wing has become a familiar presence in the Gaza Strip – and for many that remains a key problem. Hamas, the movement that has run the Gaza Strip for a decade, has been seeking to end its long feud with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah, but its powerful armed wing may prove to be a deal breaker.The Palestinian Authority is due to take control of Gaza by Friday under a reconciliation agreement signed in October, but Hamas is flatly refusing to disarm.Before the 2014 War with Israel, groups in Gaza were believed to have a total of some 10,000 rockets, including 6,000 for Hamas, an Israeli military analyst at the time said.In August, Hamas' leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar said newly improved relations with Iran had made it the "biggest supporter" of Hamas' military wing.
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