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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Gazans getting the message?

Could it be that Gazans are finally getting the idea that to improve their lives, they must throw off Hamas rule? Maybe.
At the preschool she runs for 130 poor children in this refugee camp, Abir Salah, a tall, imposing woman, says she feels suffocated. Last summer, one of her sons, who lives in Croatia, got married. She and her daughter had their suitcases packed so they could attend the ceremony, but they were unable to get an Israeli permit to leave Gaza.

"We tried Hamas, but now we have to get rid of them and change them for someone else," she said. "We're tired of everything. And because of Hamas, the international community has imposed a siege on us."

She then abruptly ended the conversation, saying she was worried that Hamas might hurt her or her children.


Taxi driver Iyad al-Shafi says that he voted for Hamas in 2006 but that if elections were held today, he would look for another party to support. "The truth is that Israel is the basis for all of our problems here," he said. "And nobody likes Fatah because they're corrupt. But when Fatah was in charge here, people were working and had money. There were no shortages, and, most important of all, we could leave Gaza."
I wouldn't hold my breath expecting a revolution in Gaza anytime soon, but if Gazans are starting to attribute some responsibility for their predicament to Hamas that would be progress. On the other hand, most of them still blame Israel.



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