Clashes between Israelis and Palestinians, whether involving Israeli soldiers or Jewish settlers, are reported quickly and frequently. This is always immediately worth a headline in the foreign media. Of course, Israel always comes off badly, because after all, the “principle” applies that it has conquered “Palestine” and the Palestinian Arabs therefore have the full right to a liberation struggle.
When there are clashes or protests within the Palestinian population, however, mostly there is little interest.
For example, a week ago, thousands of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip protested against their own Hamas government. In Khan Yunis and in the Jabaliya refugee camp, Palestinian protesters shouted “Shame, shame. The people are the victims. The people want a change of government.” The Palestinians are demanding a better life and are protesting against the rising cost of living and the electricity crisis. In addition, the people of Gaza are demanding an end to the siege of the Gaza Strip. They blame not only Israel for this, but also their own Hamas government, which they believe is doing nothing to improve the already difficult life they endure in the Gaza Strip.
In the Middle East, a small incident can erupt into something big – as happened with the Arab Spring 12 years ago. In late July this year, an 80-year-old Palestinian, Ataya Bracha, suffered a heart attack and died while trying to stop Hamas officials from installing an electricity meter in his home in Deir al-Balach. Like most Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, Bracha could not afford electricity. His sudden death caused a protest in the Gaza Strip, which the Hamas regime immediately repressed. Hamas wants to charge new fees for the electricity, but it is Qatar that usually funds it, by buying diesel in Israel and transporting it by truck to the Gaza Strip.
Palestinian activists have uploaded numerous videos showing hundreds or thousands protesting in the streets. The people have spoken out openly and loudly against the Hamas leadership, and at last want a change of government. “Where’s the power and where’s the fuel, Ya Ismail Haniya, Ya Mahmoud Abbas?” asked the angry protesters. They demanded an improvement in living standards and an end to the blockade of Gaza.
See related: 10 Years of Hamas Rule in Gaza
In recent weeks, Gaza residents have complained about the lack of electricity and insist on a solution to the deepening power crisis. On good days, a household has electricity for eight hours;, otherwise only for four.
We know that a majority of Palestinians suffer under Hamas’s rule, which is brutal and primarily cares for those close to the group. “They don’t really live here, the Hamas leaders live in Turkey, eat meat and lamb, and party with electricity and air conditioning while we roast in the heat,” says a Palestinian activist in Gaza. In an effort to suppress these protests as quickly as possible, Hamas has arrested numerous demonstrators. At the same time, the regime has organized counter-marches praising itself and lauding life in the Gaza Strip.
We remember the year 2019. What happened then? Many thousands of Palestinians took to the streets in the Gaza Strip to protest against the rising cost of living, but above all against the brutal Hamas regime. But in Gaza “there are no demonstrations against Hamas!”
And what did Hamas do? With one hand, Hamas dismantled the demonstrators, with the other, it “accidentally” fired two rockets at Israel. All the attention swung to Israel after Hamas arrested hundreds of Palestinians. The dissatisfaction of the Palestinian people can be seen and heard everywhere. Especially in the Gaza Strip when you are in contact with Palestinians via social networks. Everyone is afraid of the regime, so the true picture of the Gaza Strip is often not expressed. And if you mention at the end that some Palestinians want Israeli rule in the Gaza Strip, then that is not taken seriously. Still, everyone can see which work permit everyone in Gaza wants at all costs – a permit to work in Israel.
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