Ten Years of Despair: Gaza Under Hamas’ Regime

For the past 10 years, the residents of Gaza have been suffering under the oppressive regime of Hamas. The terrorist organization has been making the lives of residents miserable, isolating them from the Arab world and leaving them unemployed, without any income, electricity or drinking water. Hamas is leaving Gaza in shambles without any concern for its fate. The terror organization taxes every kind of commodity, steals humanitarian aid and builds terror tunnels underneath schools and international aid institutions. Rather than building a future for Gaza, Hamas is destroying it.

 

 

What does Gaza look like under Hamas' regime?  

When the average Gazan resident wakes up each morning, he cannot turn on his water faucet, he cannot turn on the lights in his home, he cannot go to work or even flush his own toilet. He certainly cannot look his family in the eye and tell them that everything will be okay.

The ones responsible for all these problems is Hamas. Hamas, who boasts that they are “fighting” Israel, has been spending more time fighting and oppressing the people of Gaza. After violently taking control of the Gaza Strip 10 years ago, what exactly has Hamas “achieved?”

Hamas is directly responsible for the death of over 1,000 Palestinians

Over the past decade of terror and bloodshed, the terror organization Hamas has been directly accountable for the death of 1,114 Palestinians. How were so many Palestinians violently murdered? Here are the chilling numbers: during Hamas’ violent takeover of the Gaza Strip after the elections of 2006 and in the coup that took control in the summer of 2007, Hamas turned their weapons on their fellow Muslims and Palestinians. During this time period alone, 616 Palestinians were killed and murdered during clashes between Hamas and Fatah. Since taking control of Gaza, Hamas has executed approximately 100 people, including political opponents and Salafi activists, as well as senior members of its own military wing, such as Mahmoud Ashtiwi.  An additional 400 Palestinians were killed by digging Hamas’ terror tunnels, including at least 160 children. These figures come from a number of sources and do not include hundreds, if not thousands, of those who have been injured or have died from disease, infrastructure failures, neglect or lack of medical care due to Hamas’ financial investment in terrorism.

Compared to the 1,114 Palestinians and many others that the terror organization is responsible for in casualties, in all three conflicts with Israel (2008-2009, 2012 and 2014), Hamas killed 92 Israelis. The math is simple: Hamas killed 10 times more Palestinians than Israelis, so the next time Hamas says that they are fighting Israel, the numbers don’t lie.  Hamas is simply killing Gazans.

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The electricity crisis: Hamas collects tax while residents pay the price

The electricity crisis in Gaza is a prime example for how the terror organization manages every crisis to which it is responsible. First, the organization is oppressive towards Gazan residents and invests the residents’ money in terror infrastructure instead of solving the crisis. When the protests against Hamas worsens, the organization lies to Gazans about how they they are not responsible for anything, and places the responsibility on others, while trying to direct the  media discourse to criticisms of external factors. In some extreme cases, to avoid the criticism Hamas is even ready to go to war—that will kill many Gazans—only to stay in a position of power.

The electricity crisis in the Strip is real and is a matter of controversy between the PA and Hamas, but it only persists because of Hamas’ reluctance to solving it.  

Hamas collects taxes for electricity from the residents of the Gaza Strip, but does not put forth a single shekel of that collection to cover the costs. Electricity is not provided free of charge and the Palestinian Authority who also pays for it does not want to continue doing so if Hamas is pouring tax collections into their own pockets. Not to mention, Hamas invests $42.5 million per year (the amount of 4 full months of electricity use for the Strip) into terror tunnels and senior official housing within the terror organization—which, function with full electricity on a daily basis instead of going towards hospitals, schools and residential houses. Therefore, Gazans are left without any electricity in their houses—because for Hamas, it is more important to dig terror tunnels than to let the residents live normal lives.

The absence of electricity prevents the activities of many life-saving elements, as well as essential facilities to improve the standard of living in Gaza: the water purification facility, the wastewater treatment facility and hospitals (dialysis facilities and life-saving devices). The situation has even the inhibited the simplest things from daily life, such as making ice cream for children, becoming a far-fetched dream for the residents of Gaza.

 

Public execution of Gazans by Hamas in 2014

Hamas first, Gazans last

Over the years, the Hamas leadership has accumulated large amounts of money through embezzlement of funds from charitable organizations, international funding and a corrupt mechanism in which imports, among many other things, are overtaxed in the Gaza Strip. The wealth of Hamas’ leadership “tycoons” amounts to billions of dollars. Khaled Mashal is worth 2.3 billion dollars, Musa Abu Marzuq is similarly wealthy, Ismail Haniyeh is worth millions of dollars, and many more senior officials live in homes that one can only describe as luxurious mansions.  

On the other hand, if you are not well connected with the terror organization Hamas, you better forget living a normal life. First and foremost, Hamas’ main priority is to take care of its own leadership, its military wing and its officials; only after, does Hamas give the remaining remnants to Gazan residents. One resident from eastern Khan Yunis woke up one morning to find Hamas destroying his home and leaving him, his wife and their 7 children on the streets. His property was proclaimed as “state land” and was turned over to Gazans closely connected to Hamas.

Deteriorating relationships with the Arab world and international officials while strengthening ties with Iran

In recent years, and especially in recent weeks, it has become more clear to the Arab world and to international organizations that Hamas is a terror organization that acts according to its own interests—wreaking havoc and terrorism while maintaining a reign of fear against the residents of the Strip. An article in the Saudi newspaper “Ukaz” explained to its readers that "Hamas is driving Gaza to a humanitarian disaster by taking over and confiscating humanitarian aid, in addition to threatening the lives of the residents by digging tunnels underneath schools and hospitals in order to exploit the residents as human shields.”

The UAE also made it clear that Hamas fired shots from schools while the Red Crescent of the UAE carried out medical assistance to Gazans, all in order to provoke the Israeli Air Force (IAF). This would force the IAF to shoot at concentrated areas of the population and aid workers while Hamas hides behind them, using the innocent population as a human shield.

And to top it off, there was the recent discovery of a tunnel that had been exposed by UNRWA under one of the organization’s schools in Gaza in the Al-Maghazi neighborhood. UNRWA condemned the heinous act that put innocent children and UNRWA workers in life-threatening danger.

In addition, the terror organization is taunting Egypt by providing for ISIS members—smuggling them across the border and involving themselves in several similar terror events. These actions join the cooperation in recent weeks between Hamas and their new Shiite masters in Teheran, after Hamas turned its back on the Arab world. The terror organization is also not taking Al-Sabirin seriously, a shiite militia in the Gaza Strip, trying to convert Gazans to Shiism and then using them as a pawn in Iran’s scheme for dominance in the area.

 

Head of Hamas' Political Bureau, Ismail Haniyeh with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei

It can be concluded that Hamas is a terror organization of the worst kind. They murder their fellow Palestinian brothers in cold blood, leaving the Gazan population destitute without electricity or basic living conditions, while they blame surrounding factors. Instead of taking responsibility, they prefer to start conflicts and even prepare for war. The terror organization invests its money in terrorism rather than in the future, collecting money from Gazan residents to get wealthy. Hamas has turned its back on the Arab world, which now understands it is facing a terrorist organization that grovels to the highest bidder— and today it’s Iran— the world’s largest funder of terror.

The whole world understands these facts, and now is the time for Gazans to recognize them. Hamas terror organization does not care about them or their needs, and Gazans need to take control and do something about it.