Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Gazans want to live....but - by Edy Cohen

Israel would be wise not to intervene in Gaza’s internal affairs at this time, in order not to provide Hamas with an excuse. Gaza is now a powder keg, and no one knows exactly when things will explode. In this current situation, past desires to transform Gaza into Singapore—and establish a port and airport in the enclave—can only be described as preposterous. Proceed with caution.

Edy Cohen..
19 March '19..

In recent days, we have been witness to unprecedented demonstrations against the cost of living in the Gaza Strip. The demonstrators, mostly young people, initially took to the streets in the Jabalia refugee camp and Deir al-Balah in the north of the enclave, and later in Khan Younis in the south. This is a “popular movement” whose slogan, “We want to live,” quickly developed into a hashtag on social media.

Their goal is simple: to improve the economic situation. On social media, there have been calls and images of graffiti in Gaza blaming Hamas for the dire economic situation. The terrible state of affairs in Gaza is reflected in limited electricity, high unemployment, high living costs, poverty, overcrowding, lack of salaries and a terrorist regime, among other things.

Hamas officials tried with all their might to thwart the protests, even resorting to using live fire on demonstrators. Dozens of videos documenting Hamas violence against Gazans were posted online. In one such video, an 11-year-old boy with signs of violence on his back says he was badly beaten by Hamas officials. In another video that went viral, a female resident of the enclave accuses Hamas of shooting at young people. This brave woman wonders aloud if this is the regime promised to them by senior Hamas military leader Yahya Sinwar and Hamas political bureau chief Ismail Haniyeh. “My husband is employed, as are my four children, while the 20-year-old son of a Hamas commander drives a private jeep and has an apartment,” she laments.

These statements indicate that the residents of Gaza have broken through the barrier of fear that has prevailed in Gaza since Hamas expelled the Palestinian Authority and took control there.

(Continue to Full Column)

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