Palestinians in Gaza have reportedly started attacking members of Hamas as severe shortages in food, water, and medicine plague the area. The tensions suggest that fissures could be forming in Hamas’ authoritarian rule.
The Telegraph reported that Palestinians are pushing back against Hamas forces, launching rocks at Hamas police who have attempted to cut in water lines. Civilians also insulted Hamas officials, according to witnesses.
Gazans reportedly hold Hamas at least partially responsible for the humanitarian crisis that has cropped up since Israel invaded the area in October.
The revelations that there has been a breakdown in law and order throughout Gaza were shared by those living in the area. There has not only been a detrimental change in law and order, but fights have broken out amid food shortages. Due to the fear that disputes could ignite in bread lines, Gazans have come equipped with sticks and knives to protect themselves.
One aid worker described how one Gazan was bludgeoned over the head with a chair after he called out a Hamas officer for trying to cut in front of civilians in a bread line. A woman said that her nephew, a father of five, was stabbed after he was accused of jumping a water line in northern Gaza.
Yousef Hammash, an aid worker for the Norwegian Refugee Council, said that “[e]verywhere you go, you see tension in the eyes of people,” adding that “[y]ou can tell they are at a breaking point.”
It appears Gazans are starting to lose their fear of Hamas, whose forces have generally ruled the area with a draconian fist.
Since Hamas’ surprise attack against Israel on October 7, over 800,000 people in Gaza have been displaced. However, Israel provided evacuation orders for 1.1 million residents living in the northern part of Gaza, where the vast majority of Hamas’ infrastructure is located, according to the Times of Israel.
Though Israel has been criticized for blocking fuel imports into Gaza, the Jewish state has argued that Hamas uses the fuel to work its weapons system and maintain its underground tunnels. Israel has reportedly allowed a limited amount of food and medical supplies into the Strip by way of Egypt.
“The social fabric for which Gaza was known is fraying due to the anxiety and uncertainty and loss,” Juliette Touma, a spokesman for the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, said.
“Many Gazans said they live on one meal a day. Often it is made up mainly of dried foodstuffs like dates and biscuits, with fresh produce like milk, eggs and meat a distant memory.“
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