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Governing Gaza and Relations with the  Civilians  

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October 7th

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Hamas

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In a Nutshell

In Gaza, while Hamas maintains a base of support due to its stance against Israel and its social and religious outreach, there is also significant public discontent, fear, and frustration with their governance.

Many Gazans are dissatisfied with Hamas's economic management and the consequences of its militant tactics, including the impact on civilian life and the exploitation of resources. Fear and intimidation are used by Hamas against political rivals and dissenters, creating a dangerous atmosphere for public opposition.

The civilian population also suffers from Hamas's military actions, which often result in civilian casualties and destruction.  Reports indicate that Hamas diverts humanitarian aid for its own use and uses civilian infrastructure for military purposes, worsening the humanitarian crisis.

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Additionally, there are claims of Hamas preventing civilian evacuation during IDF airstrikes, effectively using civilians as human shields. This complex relationship is further strained by Hamas's efforts to radicalize society, particularly the youth, and the general unpopularity of the Palestinian leadership, including Hamas, indicating a desire for political change among Gazans.

Full Story

The Full Story

While there is a base of support for Hamas in Gaza, there is also significant public discontent, fear, and frustration with their governance, economic management, and militant tactics. The relationship between Hamas and the civilians in Gaza is shaped by a combination of ideological alignment, economic hardship, fear of repression, and the impact of external conflicts.
 

  1. Support for Hamas: Hamas has maintained a significant base of support in Gaza. This support is often rooted in the group's stance against Israel and its commitment to Palestinian nationalism. Hamas's social services and religious outreach have also garnered support among certain segments of the population.

  2. Fear and Intimidation: Alongside support, there is also fear of Hamas among the Gazan population. Hamas has been known to use intimidation and violence against its political rivals and those who oppose its rule. This creates an atmosphere where public dissent against Hamas can be dangerous.

  3. Frustration with Governance: Many Gazans express frustration with Hamas's governance. Issues like economic hardship, restrictions on freedom, and the consequences of ongoing conflicts with Israel contribute to dissatisfaction among the population. Surveys and reports have indicated that a significant portion of Gazans are unhappy with the way Hamas has managed the region, particularly regarding its handling of economic and social issues. Many Gazans struggling to secure basic necessities. The majority attributed the lack of food to internal problems and government mismanagement rather than external sanctions, indicating a critical view of Hamas's governance.

  4. Hamas's Military Actions and Civilian Casualties: Hamas's military wing, the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, has been actively involved in conflicts with Israel. These conflicts often result in significant civilian casualties and destruction in Gaza, which further exacerbates the hardships faced by the civilian population. The impact of these military actions on everyday life in Gaza contributes to the complex relationship between Hamas and the civilians.

  5. Exploitation of Humanitarian Aid: Hamas has been accused of exploiting Gaza financially and in terms of resources. This includes diverting international humanitarian aid intended for the civilian population for its own use, such as redirecting food, medical supplies, and construction materials. Hamas has also been reported to use civilian infrastructure for military purposes, which not only endangers civilians but also leads to the destruction of vital resources during conflicts. These actions exacerbate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and contribute to the suffering of the civilian

  6. Preventing Civilian Evacuation: There are claims that Hamas has actively prevented civilians from evacuating areas targeted by the IDF. The IDF often issues warnings before airstrikes to minimize civilian casualties. However, reports suggest that Hamas has countered these efforts by forcing civilians to remain in targeted areas, effectively using them as human shields. Some reports indicate that Hamas militants have shot at civilians attempting to evacuate areas before Israeli bombings. This extreme measure is purportedly used to ensure that civilians remain in targeted areas, thereby increasing the likelihood of civilian casualties during Israeli strikes.

  7. Fear and Intimidation: Hamas's use of violence and pressure on civilian populations to achieve its goals, including the promotion of a 'traditional' Islamic society, contributes to an atmosphere of fear and control within Gaza. This is compounded by the group's history of violence against both military and civilian targets.

  8. Radicalization Efforts: Hamas has invested in efforts to radicalize society, particularly targeting youth, to build support for its militant infrastructure. This includes educational and social service programs that instill a culture of resistance in Gazan society.

  9. Response to Governance and Political Rivalry: The population's response to Hamas's governance and its rivalry with Fatah reflects a complex political landscape in Gaza. The deep unpopularity of Palestinian leadership, including Hamas, suggests a desire for political change among the population.

References

References

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