Tuesday, June 24, 2014

  • Tuesday, June 24, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
We knew all this, but now a Hamas official confirms it:
After seven years in power, Hamas has handed over its government in Gaza to the unity government headed by Rami Hamdallah in accordance with the reconciliation agreement signed with its political rival Fatah. However, the movement did not waive its security control of the Gaza Strip.

The crisis caused by the security agencies of the former Hamas government, after they closed Gaza’s banks for several days and prevented government workers from making any financial transactions, has showed the strength of the security services and their ability to maintain control on the ground in the coastal strip.

The security services continue to control the border crossings such as the semi-closed Rafah border crossing that links the Gaza Strip to Egypt as well as the Erez crossing between Gaza from Israel and the West Bank. This situation forces travelers and visitors to register twice upon their arrival to the Palestinian side, once in the Palestinian Liaison Office of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and again at the security checkpoint of the previous Hamas government. Hamas is also in control of the Kerem Shalom commercial crossing.

The internal security services in Gaza arrested prominent Fatah official Arafat Abu Shabab as he was returning from Egypt via the Rafah crossing on June 3 after the Hamdallah government took the constitutional oath before President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.

A source in the Hamas leadership explained that the movement would not give up control over the Gaza Strip with such ease and speed, and that its influence will continue despite the formation of a national consensus government and the handing over of official ministries.

“Hamas is not ready to expose its political project to risk and to hand over the power that it has built over seven years just because of an agreement on a government whose ability to survive is yet to be revealed,” the source told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity.
Indeed, Hamas has been doing even more to Islamicize Gaza:

When W., 21, went to the beach with her friend, the last thing she expected was Hamas policemen rushing into the beach cafe where she was sitting and forcing the waiter to remove the argileh — the Middle Eastern hookah — she was smoking from her table.

W., who wished to remain anonymous, expressed her annoyance at what happened, adding that she just had wanted to take a seaside break from her exam preparation.

The owner of the cafe, who preferred to go under the alias Khaled, told Al-Monitor that this was only one case out of dozens that regularly happen.

“The police jeeps never leave the area around the beach, just looking for a girl smoking argileh or a couple sitting together there,” Khaled said.

Khaled said that all he can do is ask the policemen to prove their identities; otherwise, he is powerless to stop their meddling in his customers' personal affairs.

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