Police fears of Hamas' control create tensions

One policeman says he'd rather lose his job than work under &to=http://english.pravda.ru/mailbox/22/101/397/14711_gaza.html' target=_blank>Hamas. Another wants the militant Islamic movement to bring to justice supporters who have killed police. Others are threatening mutiny.

The prospect that Hamas' landslide victory could turn it from former rival to possible boss is unsettling for many in the Fatah-dominated security forces, especially for those who battled and arrested Hamas activists during a major 1996 crackdown on the group. The way Hamas deals with the security forces will prove key to how smoothly the power transfer here goes.

"This is one of the biggest challenges facing Hamas," said Moheeb al-Nawaty, an expert on Islamic groups.

"Hamas might want to restructure the security services. This is bound to agitate many people, which is worrisome," he said. "The security forces, their members and leaders, will not give in easily."

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