Anarchy in Gaza as Palestinian Fear of Hamas Breaks Down

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Photo by Majdi Fathi/TPS on 12 December, 2023
By Baruch Yedid/TPS • 12 December, 2023

 

Jerusalem, 12 December, 2023 (TPS) — As Hamas’s ability to rule the Gaza Strip crumbles, Palestinian fear of the terror group is disappearing and leading towards anarchy.

The Tazpit Press Service has learned that residents openly criticize Hamas in front of TV cameras — once unthinkable — can call the Iran-backed Hamas “betrayers of the Palestinian people.”

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In one notable incident, a resident of Gaza told Radio Hebron, which also broadcasts from the Strip, that “Mohammed Deif and Yahya Sinwar are sons of dogs.”

One Palestinian official told TPS, “Hamas’s central government has completely collapsed and the interior and police systems are also not fully functioning.”

There are no more rescue and civil defense teams and that residents are busy clearing the rubble from their homes.

Residents report widespread looting of food rations and medicines delivered from Arab countries through the Rafah border crossing. In particular, trucks are hijacked by armed Hamas operatives or criminals, who then sell the aid themselves.

One resident was filmed pointing to a bag of food clearly labeled with the words “not for sale” and being required to pay to pay 40 shekels ($10) for it.

There are also reports of black markets in the hundreds of shelters where Palestinians are staying, where food and medicine is sold.

TPS has also learned from Israeli sources that morale among Hamas’s fighting units in the northern areas of Gaza is severely damaged and there have been significant desertions following the killing of Northern Brigade commanders in Israeli air strikes.

Around 200 of these deserters were the Palestinians seen in photos on social media in their underwear surrendering to Israeli forces.

In southern Gaza, dozens of kitchens have opened on the sidewalks where volunteers distribute hot food to displaced Palestinians. Gas cylinders for cooking are in short supply after large numbers were stolen by Hamas operatives, sources told TPS.

Khan Yunis is Gaza’s second largest city is considered the capital of the Strip’s southern district. It is also regarded as a personal stronghold of Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, whose family lives there.

Before the war, Hamas oversaw a civilian administration of around 50,000 employees.

At least 1,200 people were killed in Hamas’s attacks on Israeli communities near the Gaza border on Oct. 7. Hamas currently holds 137 men, women, children, soldiers and foreigners captive in Gaza. Some people remain unaccounted for as Israeli authorities continue to identify bodies and search for human remains.

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