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Hamas violence may chill anti-Abbas alliance with PLO leftists

Hamas’ crackdown on Gaza Strip protesters demanding a better life has troubled the party's relations with left-wing PLO factions — relations that have grown since the anti-occupation March of Return took off a year ago.
Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas chairs a meeting of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee at the Palestinian Authority headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah on November 15, 2018. (Photo by ABBAS MOMANI / AFP)        (Photo credit should read ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty Images)
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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — A dispute between Hamas and the PLO's main leftist factions has breached the recent unprecedented harmony in their relations, perhaps derailing what one Hamas source said is an effort to build a coalition against Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

The leftist factions — the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestinian (PFLP) and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) — ascribed the rift to Hamas using violence and arresting participants in popular protests March 14-15 against the worsening living conditions in the Gaza Strip. The peaceful protesters marched under the slogan “We want to live.”

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