Defiant Hamas Rules by Fear in Isolated Gaza

[Sunday Times-UK] Marie Colvin - The nights in Gaza belong to the Izzedine al-Qassam brigades. The militia that was once the underground military wing of Hamas has become a feared unofficial army controlling Gaza. Every night they patrol the streets and the border with Egypt. Each six-man unit travels with rocket-launchers, machineguns and grenades and carries a locally made antitank mine similar to the explosively formed projectiles (EFPs) that have wreaked havoc against allied armored vehicles in Iraq. Hamas-imposed security has come at huge cost. Only believers feel safe; supporters of Fatah are routinely arrested and tortured. Journalists are harassed and unIslamic dress can result in a beating as well. More and more women in Gaza are covering not just their hair but their faces. Many bitterly resent Hamas.

2007-11-27 01:00:00

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