On Thursday in the Gaza strip, Hamas reportedly opened fire on Palestinians protesting against the terrorist organization for the way it rules over them.
There was criticism of Hamas from within Gaza:
Israel pulled out of the Gaza Strip in August 2005 as part of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s plan to improve Israel’s security. Over 9,000 Israeli Jews were evicted from their homes; IDF installations and forces were removed. By September 22, 2005, the withdrawal was complete; it was expected the Palestinian Authority would supervise the area. But in June 2007 Hamas took over the Gaza Strip. Since that time thousands of rockets and mortar shells have rained down on Israel.
That was utterly unlike what happened after Israel traded land for peace in its 1979 peace treaty with Egypt, giving Egypt all of the Sinai Peninsula. Although the town of Yamit had to be dismantled, since that time Egypt and Israel have not gone to war and currently they are allies in the fight against Iran as well as cooperating in the production of gas from the waters near both countries. Even the Palestinians are part of the seven-member Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum, which includes Egypt, Israel, Greece, Cyprus, Jordan, Italy and the Palestinian Authority; according to The Jerusalem Post, the group agreed to a set of principles including “to respect the rights to natural resources of each other, adhere to international law, expand their cooperation toward formulating a common policy regarding the development of a regional market, and protect the environment.”
Conditions in Gaza under Hamas have gone from bad to worse; the CIA reported, “The UN in 2015 published a study assessing that the Gaza Strip could become uninhabitable by 2020 unless steps are taken to address Gaza’s economic and humanitarian situation. In September 2018, the UN reported that conditions were worse than when its experts made that prediction.”
Roughly 1.8 million Palestinians live in Gaza; 99% of them are Muslim. According to the CIA, “Under Hamas control, Gaza has suffered from rising unemployment, elevated poverty rates, and a sharp contraction of the private sector, which had relied primarily on export markets.” The CIA added that in 2017 there was an estimated 28% unemployment rate.
The CIA also noted that there are seven different terrorist groups native to Gaza, including Hamas, the Army of Islam, the Mujahidin Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem, Palestine Islamic Jihad, Palestine Liberation Front, PFLP-General Command, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. All of them have at one time or another stated their intention to attack Israel. In addition, three foreign-based terrorist groups reside in Gaza; the Abdallah Azzam Brigades, the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, and ISIS.
Gaza has an area of 360 square miles. Singapore is 720 square miles, double the size of Gaza, and is much more crowded as it holds three times as many people, about six million. According to the CIA, “The economy depends heavily on exports, particularly of electronics, petroleum products, chemicals, medical and optical devices, pharmaceuticals, and on Singapore’s vibrant transportation, business, and financial services sectors.” In 2017 Singapore had a GDP of $528 billion. In 2014 Gaza had a GDP of $3 billion.
Meanwhile, Palestinians living in Israel even have representation in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament.