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Gaza residents: "Hamas failed to lift the siege and release the prisoners" | Israel today


Hamas celebrates 35 years since it was founded • "If it wasn't for his ability to bomb Tel Aviv and threaten Israel with military force - he would not have gained such esteem and popularity" • Gaza residents: "Hamas made promises, but in practice Gaza is closed and there is no normal life" • In the shadow of the arrest of activists The organization in the West Bank: a big demonstration today in Gaza

Today (Wednesday), Hamas will hold a huge festival in Gaza, in what is considered to be the peak event in a series of activities taking place in the Strip in the past week, to mark the organization's 35th anniversary.

The preparations began about two weeks ago with the hanging of signs and calls to the public to participate in the celebrations.

In Gaza, they also worked to prepare the atmosphere for the event through the media, which dealt extensively with "the historical landmark", while at the same time, the organization's senior officials and its spokespeople pumped messages to the public about "success through resistance", and spoke of the important role of Hamas in fulfilling the "aspirations of the Palestinian people for freedom, return and independence ".

📸 Safa album

The beginning of the crowd of citizens to attend the 35th Hamas movement launch festival in Kataiba Square in Gaza City

— Safa Agency (@SafaPs) December 14, 2022

In social media campaigns, Hamas made sure to highlight the main stations of the organization from its establishment in December 1987 until today, while emphasizing the achievements it credits to its credit, chief among them the resistance project, and the establishment of the "Hamas Army", when the reference is to the Az ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the organization's military arm , which strengthened and upgraded its military capabilities over the years, and which stood against Israel in several systems including two intifadas, several operations and mini-wars alongside rounds of combat and an ongoing conflict in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas's position has strengthened

"The greatest success of Hamas is its rise as a military force in the Palestinian arena and its ability to persistently maintain this role. This is what gave the movement its popularity and status. If it were not for Hamas's ability to bomb Tel Aviv and threaten Israel with rockets and military force, it would not have received such esteem In the Palestinian public or in the Fatah movement and the other Palestinian factions.

The resistance is what has always set the organization apart and put it in the spotlight, and everyone gives it respect and importance because of that," Faaz Abu Shamala, a senior commentator in Gaza, told Israel Hayom.

Hamas fighters // Photo: AFP

The status of Hamas gradually strengthened following its takeover of the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2007, when in addition to being a terrorist organization, it became a rising political force and the "sovereign" responsible for managing the lives of approximately two million Palestinians in the Strip.

Public opinion polls from recent years have indicated a consistent increase in his popularity compared to the other alternatives in the Palestinian political system.

He gained points in public opinion following the "Guardian of the Walls" operation after positioning himself as "the defender of Jerusalem", and used the momentum created to motivate and encourage an "armed awakening" in Judea and Samaria.

Despite this, in Gaza they say that there is disappointment with Hamas since it has so far failed to deliver the goods on several key issues.

First and foremost, his failure to secure a new deal for the release of Palestinian prisoners.

Senior Hamas officials emphasize that the prisoner case is the organization's top priority, photo: Lior Mizrahi

Since the Shalit deal, senior Hamas officials have come back to emphasize that the prisoner case is the organization's top priority.

What raised the bar of expectations among the families of the terrorists, is the same "humanitarian initiative" proposed by Yahya Sanwar himself, live in front of the television screens at the beginning of the outbreak of the Corona epidemic, when he spoke about a prisoner exchange deal in two stages.

"If we get rid of the occupation, there will be solutions"

"The second failure is related to the blockade of the Strip. This is something that concerns everyone who lives in Gaza. People here constantly hear promises from Hamas regarding the lifting of the blockade, but in practice Gaza is closed, and there is no normal life. The fact that they increased permits to work in Israel is not enough, and does not have much effect. The crossings are closed, people are suffocated and they don't get everything they and their families need to live, there are no major economic projects inside Gaza. And this makes people ask themselves: What has the resistance brought us? And what about all the talk about the liberation of Palestine?", say Palestinian residents.

However, commentator Abu Shamla noted in this context that many in Gaza blame Israel for the economic situation in the Strip, and not Hamas.

"The siege of Gaza - its root is political and related to what Israel is doing. If we get rid of the occupation, there will be solutions," he said.

Islamic Jihad terrorists in the Gaza Strip, photo: Reuters

The Palestinian public mentions another painful issue whose solution is not in sight: the deepening split between Hamas and Fatah.

"Hamas has not succeeded in uniting the West Bank and Gaza. The Palestinian Authority still has hegemony in the West Bank, and it is supported by Israel due to security coordination," Abu Shamala added.

In this context, Palestinian commentator Hani Al-Masri noted that "Hamas has so far not presented a political plan, and has concentrated solely on the goal of liberation through jihad and armed resistance. What is required of it is to give up its sole rule in Gaza, and in return it will have a full partnership in fire." and in the Palestinian institutions.

Also, it should agree to the integration of the members of its military arm into a national army that will be subject to a unified national leadership."

This vision is still far away.

The Palestinian leadership sees Hamas's attempts to raise its head in the West Bank as a major threat.

In places where the Palestinian security mechanisms can act against Hamas members, there are arrests and raids.

The PA's security forces arrested activists of the organization in the West Bank to prevent gatherings and rallies to mark the celebrations, but this will not necessarily hermetically prevent the appearance of the organization's green flags or other symbols.

Last night, Hamas military operatives were seen openly marching in the Jenin refugee camp, alongside "Janin Battalion" militants, in a funeral procession for Farouk Salama, one of the Islamic Jihad commanders, who was killed 40 days ago.

In Gaza, they are aiming for a great show of force.

One of the messages that will come out of the celebrations is that Hamas "is not just a fighting force and a resistance organization, but a mass movement that comes from the people and addresses them."

Inspired by the World Cup, the flags of the Arab countries will be raised to convey that Gaza is part of the Arab world, and that the Palestinian issue is not a "problem" of the Palestinians alone.

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Source: israelhayom

All news articles on 2022-12-14

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