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Monday, December 28, 2009

Sunday, the Islamists stayed home

A heavily promoted Hamas rally marking the anniversary of Israel's Operation Cast Lead on Sunday drew only 3,000 people, as most 'Palestinians' opted to stay home.
"Gaza was victorious. Yes, Gaza was victorious with its steadfastness, its firmness and strength of faith," said Gaza Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh in a televised speech.

But the Hamas call to rally was met with indifference. Ignoring a siren meant to call for a minute's silence, cars whizzed by and pedestrians kept walking.

"I wish they had commemorated the war by opening a factory. That would have been better than this," said Gaza resident Rami Mohammed, 30.


It was hard to say whether the indifference reflected general despair over the difficult conditions in Gaza or outright discontent with the Hamas government. Two weeks ago, tens of thousands of people turned out for a mass Hamas demonstration in Gaza City to celebrate the anniversary of the group's founding. The huge turnout signaled that the group still remains popular with its core followers and maintains a firm grip on power.
A second rally was held in Gaza City.
"We are the victors! We are the fighters! We are the steadfast!" thundered senior Hamas leader Khalil Hayyeh.

But a year later, Hayyeh's bold calls rang hollow. After days of heavy advertising through Hamas Web sites, text messages and radio announcements, only a trickle of Hamas loyalists turned up to a commemoration in the heavily damaged legislative building in downtown Gaza City, the territory's largest urban area.
They may still love Hamas, but they are tired of fighting Israel. Or perhaps they don't love Hamas but were afraid not to show up for the rally two weeks ago.



At 12:45 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Hamas has failed to deliver a better standard of living, a lifting of the blockade and a normal life for Gazans. The Islamist regime's militant rhetoric is growing old.


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