Year Later-Gaza A Hamas Controlled Territory

A year ago, Hamas forces attacked the Palestinian Authority in Gaza and during the ensuing conflict there was brutality on both sides including rival fighters being thrown from rooftops. Adel Zaanoun, reporting for the Turkish Daily News from Gaza, describes the poverty and poor living conditions a year after the Hamas coup. About 33% of the people are without jobs and at least 40% live in poverty while the area struggles to define itself as to the meaning of democracy. He quotes Hamdi Shakuren, of the Gaza-based Palestinian Center for Human Rights: “This year we have gone through a dangerous and unprecedented decline for human rights in the Gaza Strip and in the West Bank.”

Zaanoun is pessimistic as to the prospect for peace in the Gaza Strip. “But the Islamic movement remains defiant as Israel prepares for a wide scale assault while still holding off on a major operation to give Egypt medicated truce efforts a chance.” An Israel assault will provide temporary respite but the process of anger and hate and violence will continue until all parties in the conflict engage in genuine peace and reconciliation efforts that entail compromise.