14 June '10
As President Obama gets ready to send an additional 400 million dollars in aid to “ordinary Palestinians” (most of which will probably end up with a small inner circle of Hamas weapons enthusiasts) it’s worth remembering who is causing the most misery to the people of Gaza.
The Palestinian journalist Khaled Abu Toameh has written a blistering essay for the Hudson New York blog headlined, “What About Hamas’s Siege of Gaza?“. He reminds us that while the world bayed about Israel’s naval blockade, “Hamas [has continued] its reign of terror on the local population in general and its critics in particular.”
What is that reign like? Well, here are some snapshots of life in Gaza under Hamas: on June 6, “A senior United Nations official… expressed deep concern at reports that Hamas has broken into the offices of [NGOs] in the Gaza Strip… confiscated materials and equipment, and forced the offices to shut down.”
In late May, masked gunmen raided a UN children’s camp, tearing down tents and burning storage buildings. It’s not known who was behind those masks but earlier what the Irish Times called “a previously unknown militant group, The Free of the Homeland, issued a statement criticising [the UN] for, ‘teaching schoolgirls fitness, dancing and immorality.’” Hamas often uses proxies and has been attempting to impose strict sharia law. In April, as the same Irish Times article points out, Hamas sent “police to break up the Gaza Strip’s first major hip-hop concert [because, it said,] organisers failed to get a permit.”
Toameh was born in the West Bank city of Tulkarm 45 years ago.
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