Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Gaza's Future: Peering into the Crystal Ball
Will Gaza Blow Up in Hamas' Face? - Alex Fishman
Residents of Gaza who have left the Strip believe another military confrontation with Israel is a certainty. They also believe that it will be a lot more aggressive, that Israel is sick of playing these games with Hamas, and that Israel will do everything to eliminate the organization.
Gazan society has started to disintegrate. The number of suicides is unprecedented. There is a phenomenon of women stabbing their unemployed husbands. Every third person is on anti-depressants. There has been an increase in the phenomenon of teenagers marrying much older men who are able to support them as a second or third wife.
50% of Gaza youth said in different surveys that they want to leave Gaza forever.
On top of all of this, Gazans are mad that Hamas has built for themselves what amount to underground cities, while they are left without bomb shelters.
The Next War May Be Fought Underground - Kate Shuttleworth
In 2014 the Israeli army discovered 32 tunnels in Gaza, half of which penetrated into Israel. Recent winter rains caused five Gaza attack tunnels to collapse, killing Palestinian diggers. "The death of the tunnel workers during the last severe storm gave a very serious signal that Hamas is working around the clock, even in the worst weather circumstances," says Mkhaimer Abusada, a professor of political science at al-Azhar University in Gaza. Dr. Abusada believes that some of the much needed building materials entering Gaza through Israel were ending up in Hamas' hands, where they were redirected toward tunnel construction.
While Abusada estimates that two-thirds of the Gazan population do not support another war with Israel, there are many who do. "The Palestinian community in Gaza is divided - those affiliated with Hamas are very comfortable with the strategy of digging tunnels and developing missiles. Hamas create an illusion that Israel will be defeated and that people will be able to pray in al-Aqsa mosque - people buy this fantasy."
Yousra al-Shobaki, mother of a tunnel digger who fought for Hamas, said: "We will win in the end. I ask all the mothers in Gaza to support the jihad and...to teach their sons what jihad means....There is no such thing as Israel."
Hamas Civil Servants Strike over Unpaid Salaries
Civil servants hired by Hamas in Gaza implemented a one-day strike on Thursday to protest unpaid salaries.
The employees have not been regularly paid since 2014, by some estimates receiving only 40% of what is owed to them.