‘Hamas has billions of dollars (much of it financial aid from the West) while people in Gaza are starving.’
Urshalimvoice Hassam al-Madhoun, a resident of the Gaza Strip, writes, “Who said that the Israeli occupation is to blame for the situation in Gaza? Is the occupation taxing? Is the occupation charging $30 million a month for cigarettes and tobacco? Is the occupation responsible for the fleeing of 60,000 young people from Gaza?”
(FYI: There have been no Israelis in Gaza since August of 2005, when Israel forced all Israeli residents in Gaza to leave and withdrew all ground troops from the enclave. Israel bulldozed thousands of Jewish homes, community buildings and places of worship; even the corpses in Jewish cemeteries were exhumed and reburied in Israel)
Protests against Hamas rule are growing, with young Gazans slamming their Hamas leaders on social media, many using fake names, but others daring to be photographed openly and uploading videos to Twitter harshly condemning Hamas.
Gazan youths are openly photographed demanding money and work from the Hamas regime. In one of the videos, young people are seen standing near full stalls complaining that no one can afford to buy even the cheapest vegetables.
A new tax, at 16%, which has already been dubbed the “Hamas tax,” is provoking much anger in the Gaza Strip. The Strip is also experiencing serious problems in the field of water supply, drainage of sewage systems, decreased electricity output and a rise in the cost of living, unemployment, cash shortages, and the damage suffered by the Strip in Operation Guardian of the Walls a year ago, which is still evident in the streets.
The severe violence by the Hamas regime is also provoking anger in the streets. The decision of the Hamas leadership to ally with Iran is also being criticized.
Another Gazan youth, photographed with his face exposed, said that he stays in mosques in Gaza after Friday prayers until late because he cannot manage feeding his younger brothers. “I suffocate, I give up food to feed my brothers, but I have no way to help and nothing to do, and I stay in the mosque until late so as not to go home.”
In another video, young people photograph Hamas men walking the streets while telling the camera, “We want the Jews to come back here, they are better than the Hamas regime.”
Another wrote in the networks, “Hamas members armed from head to toe did not hesitate to oppose the Gaza residents’ protest and demonstrated greater cruelty than the occupation and even executed Gazan youths.”
Above all, the civic economic distress in the Gaza Strip is at the center of the renewed protest. The power supply is limited to a few hours daily, after a 60% decrease in power output. The rate of hungry residents is rising, and according to Gazan sources, the poverty rate stands at 70-75%, while unemployment climbed to a level of 65-70%.
The phenomenon of migration from the Gaza Strip is one of the main reasons for the protest against the Hamas regime. In Gaza, it is claimed that at least 100 young people are being held in prisons in Turkey after being caught trying to immigrate to European countries.
News that often reaches the Gaza Strip about young people who left on the way to Europe and were lost — and a symbolic funeral that was held in the Gaza Strip for one of them — are used by the protest movement, which tried its force in 2019 and was violently suppressed by Hamas.
Al-Madhoun wrote in this regard, “How did the siege of Gaza make you rich and me poor? How does the embargo that forced so many young people to emigrate allow you to live in palaces and hotels? How does the siege that cut off the electricity to my family allow you to light your house for 24 hours?”
Social activist Amer Balusha, the leader of the protest, wrote, “Hamas has billions of dollars in investments in many countries, while people in Gaza are starving and roaming in search of work.”