Under the Gun: How the People of Gaza Feel about Hamas

(National-UAE) Mitchell Prothero - Abu Musab, a top Islamic Jihad commander in Rafah, says of Hamas, "They used to be mujaheddin (fighters), but today they are fat millionaires with nice cars." He pulled a packet of antibiotics from his pocket; it is stamped: "A gift of the people of Norway. Not for resale." "I just bought this from a Hamas-run pharmacy here in Rafah for my son," he said. "I had to go to a Hamas pharmacy to make sure the pills weren't fake or made from poor materials in Egypt. If you want real medicine, you have to buy the aid Europe sends us." "People are very angry. They have no money, no lives, no jobs and not even useful resistance against the enemy of Israel," he said. "People will try and get rid of Hamas but right now they can't because it's too strong." Mkhaimer Abu Saba, a Gaza political analyst, said the Israeli operation in Gaza that began at the end of 2008 was a major blow to Hamas' standing among Palestinians: "After the war most people thought Hamas had provoked it [with a resumption of rocket attacks]....Over the past 18 months, Hamas support has fallen further and further."

2010-10-01 09:30:27

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