It's been a full week of news in and around the Gaza Strip. But the most interesting news was the Egyptian delegation that arrived to mediate a truce between Israel and Hamas, or the rockets that were fired at Tel Aviv, or the IDF's crushing aerial response to that attack.
The most interesting news out of Gaza actually received the least international reporting: mass demonstrations against Hamas rule.
Last Thursday afternoon, Gazans in the north of the coastal enclave poured into the streets to protest over the stifling cost of living and the lack of jobs (or salaries for those who have jobs). The economic situation in Gaza is bad, to say the least, and local residents are incensed when they see the Hamas leadership blowing money on attack tunnels and weapons with which to provoke Israel.
It remains unclear who is behind the protests, but it is an exceptionally brave move given the brutal nature of Hamas, which most demonstrators have been careful not to criticize directly. It's possible that the rival Palestinian Authority based in Ramallah is pushign the population of Gaza to topple the Hamas regime.
In any case, and despite avoiding directly criticism of Hamas, Gaza's terrorist rulers quickly suppressed the demonstrations, but not before cellphone video clips were published online showing Hamas enforcers mercilessly beating local civilians. Some clips showed live fire being used against the demonstrators. Hamas has imposed a total media blackout, so it is unclear how many casualties have been suffered.
A Palestinian child describes being ruthlessly beaten by Hamas enforcers:
Hamas no doubt hoped that Israel's strong military response to the rocket fire on Tel Aviv would turn Gazans' anger against the Jewish state. But it was not to be. The local demonstrations resumed on Friday, spreading to the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis.
Time will tell if these demonstrations continue and spread, or if Hamas' cruel crackdown will bring a swift end to the nascent uprising. Either way, many see this as the opening shot in a long struggle to finally free Gaza from the clutches of its terrorist overlords.