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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Hamas' jihad against Gaza taxi drivers

When you already control the press, the schools, the mosques, the trade unions, and every public gathering, what is here left to do to stop any vestige of freedom of expression?

Why, the taxi drivers!
Police in Hamas-ruled Gaza have detained some 120 taxi drivers for allegedly spreading "rumors" about the Strip's worst power crisis in years.

Gaza's attorney general confirmed that the drivers have been taken into custody.

Residents in Gaza told the Associated Press that there is "growing talk" suggesting that the Islamic militant Hamas is keeping separate supplies of fuel for its loyalists.

The detentions began over the weekend and signaled that Gaza’s Hamas rulers are increasingly concerned about the political backlash over the crippling shortages of fuel and electricity.
Hamas' Palestine Times site has two separate articles about the dangers of loose-lipped taxi drivers.

In one, police spokesman Maj. Ayman Batniji confirmed that the police arrested dozens of taxi driver "rumor mongers," saying "We launched a campaign through the media to warn drivers against circulating rumors about the crisis of electricity and fuel....These drivers triggered rumors among the passengers in an attempt to destabilize the home front in the Gaza Strip." He insinuated that many of the drivers were Fatah members, and he said that the police released those drivers after receiving personal pledges not to return to promoting "rumors," they also suspended their licenses for six months.

In the other article, a Hamas reporter enters a taxi and engages in conversation with the driver, and discovers that the driver engages in conversation about any topic! As the reporter said, he felt that he had a human version of Google and Wikipedia, but some of what the driver said was not true (according to Hamas, of course.)