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Gaza…The Next Explosion - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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The Arabs might be taken by surprise by the situation in the Gaza Strip blowing up at any moment; all the signs indicate that the situation on the street has reached boiling point and that divisions between the Hamas leaders, as well as divisions between Hamas and its other allies in the Gaza Strip, have increased.

There are many signs; Hamas raided a bank in Gaza and has imposed strict taxes despite all the suffering the people of Gaza have gone through. This pushed the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) to issue a statement casting accusations against the dismissed Hamas government and warning of a potential “social rebellion” and warning that “increasing pressure and burdens on citizens amid this deteriorating economic and social reality will create problems and social ills and will contribute to pushing the youth from among our masses towards migration and might push the community to rebel against these practices and even to explode in the faces of those responsible.”

That’s not all; we also have senior Hamas figure Mahmoud al Zahar renewing his criticism of the tape that was broadcast by the Qassam Brigades that suggested that the captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit will die in prison. Al Zahar’s criticism confirms that there are divisions within Hamas and also shows the magnitude of the crisis in Gaza, especially as al Zahar’s criticisms and his difference in opinion with Hamas has become a repeated issue recently. What we must pay attention to is that most of the above and the information that is to follow were taken from one day of news from Gaza. This is evidence that the situation is continuously deteriorating, as it is clear that Hamas is suffering from a shortage of money, and this might be because of the crisis that is being experienced by the ruling regime in Tehran, which is trying to secure liquidity (in anticipation of the nuclear crisis worsening) at the expense of spending money on Hamas. It might be beneficial to Iran now to support Hezbollah in anticipation of a forthcoming battle instead of supporting Gaza, which will be easy prey for the Israelis if there is a military battle. Moreover, the Tehran regime is preoccupied today with dealing with its internal crisis, especially as it wants to raise subsidies for some products in Iran.

When we say that the situation is worsening in Gaza, we must pay attention to the absence of any political horizon for Hamas alongside the escalating internal crisis between Hamas and other groups. As new evidence of the reality of the Hamas crisis; a security official in Hamas released a statement on Tuesday warning the residents of Gaza “against responding to Zionist intelligence [apparatus] by communicating with them whether by landline or mobile phones or by using different numbers or Zionist Sim cards.”

What pushes the people of Gaza – who are the most aware of what Israel is doing to them – to communicate with their enemies? It must be the injustice of life and the magnitude of suffering and this means that the situation in Gaza is deteriorating in a continuous manner because of the maladministration of Hamas. This is contrary to what is happening in the West Bank where the people find care in Fayyad’s government that is concerned with improving the living conditions of the people there.

The conclusion is that whilst the Arabs are waiting for the completion of inter-Palestinian reconciliation, they might be taken by surprise with the situation in Gaza blowing up and at that point it will be an even bigger disaster. Hence we say when will tolerance of Hamas come to an end?

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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