Will Hamas struggle to maintain Gaza?

Kabobfest looks at the political situation for Hamas in Gaza and finds a less than rosy reality:

Observers of the political scene in Palestine are carefully monitoring the situation on the ground as President Abbas just issued the much anticipated Presidential Decree to recommend holding the both the Presidential and Legislative elections on January 24th of 2010. Hamas has rejected his call on the fact that he extended his own term when it expired in 2008 and his Abbas’ “dishonest” dealings. One the other hand, Hamas fears losing the election as the situation in Gaza, where its authority is in full swing, is dire. As I closely watch the scene I have learned of a few constituencies where Hamas might have an uphill battle.

The first constituency is the overly religious wing; Hamas lost too many votes in this wing after the troubling incident in Rafah, where Hamas and a religious group had a mini war in which Hamas took out the group’s leader and few of his followers. This particular incident made people reconsider their support for Hamas. These were some of the Hamas supporters that were essential to their win in 2006 and thus Hamas cannot afford to lose this base. People in this group do not really care for politics nor for technicalities, they just do not want to see God being placed in the backseat. They do not care who rules them as long as their version of God’s teaching are observed by everyone. Hamas does reach out to this group through their extensive network of mosques where the zealots spend most of their time. A relative of mine who is in charge of a local mosque told me that he is upset with the Hamas government because they work too hard on things that should not be its priority like ministries and needless bureaucracy to give people jobs.

Text and images ©2023 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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