Dissolve/Change Hamas Government in Gaza?

June 8, (Pal Telegraph – By Sameh Habeeb) Palestinians voted for Hamas in 2006 looking for a change - instead of voting for the corrupted Fatah movement. Hamas’s slogan was “change” and “reform”, a change that has been adopted by Obama later on but came to an end. The siege which has been imposed by Israel, America, Quartet Committee and the entire international committee made Hamas more than paralyzed as a government. An entire closure of the borders, shortage of food, imprisoning of people and their freedom of movement were the main signatures of at least 4 years. Hamas and the people of Gaza are alike. Both are exhausted people.

The Palestinian people in Gaza are scattered, tired -where 67% of them are unemployed while more than 80% live under the poverty line. They lack the basic necessities. More than 510 of them died due to the inability to either get treatment in Gaza or leave –for abroad. Hamas’s government, like the people of Gaza, is imprisoned, The government is boycotted and their finances are suffering and scarce. All these elements create - massive humanitarian disaster in Gaza, added to this the national division with Fatah did/does not help.

Is Hamas going through a political ordeal?

A video of the prisoner Gilad Shalit was released by Hamas. Some people considered it as a breakthrough and will bring a psychological war against Israel. However, in my own view it is a hit for Hamas. The video by all measurements represents a failure. In my mind is shows how desperate Hamas was - Hamas thought it would be a good political move. I feel the massage of the video didn’t achieve what was required. Easily we can read that Hamas needs to solve the problem of Shalit. It needs the deal to be an accomplishment -then we can be aware of the fact that a political achievement was made - with the absence of national reconciliation and with the continuation of the siege.

It seems that Hamas never learned from Hezbollah. For years the Lebanese faction of Hezbollah never released information about the captive soldiers. A surprise happened. The faction handed the soldiers dead - while everyone reckoned they were alive! But in Hamas’s case you find dozens of spokespersons saying contradictory views/news about Shalit. This show how fragile is the systemic Media and propaganda within Hamas. The massage of the video that Hamas made will never shake the radical government of Israel nor will it affect the mainstream in Israel, the mainstream which is shifting radically to the right - represented by the radical government of Netanyahu and the rest of rightist parties.

Taxes in the Besieged Gaza

Long ago when Islam appeared - ups and downs took place in that history. Many sieges had been imposed on Muslims and their prophet Muhammad. At other times natural disasters happened but Muslims survived these ‘problems’.

During the era of Omar Bin Al Khatab the second caliph of the Muslims there had been a period where poor rain took place followed by hunger and lack of basics. Taxes were never paid that time. Even the sinners as those who steal were never punished because their acts were justified due to hunger. It seems that Hamas government never looked at this incident to implement it on the starved Gazans.

Hamas government should really never think about imposing taxes on the people of Gaza even though the Hamas spokespersons are saying all the time that people are supporting this government. If Hamas is sure - is adamant and determined on this point- and insists- then it has to have the people on its side. But is this the case? If not, such measures for sure will never help!

Hamas has started to impose taxes on power engines - which is really questionable. People in Gaza use these engines as an alternative due to constant power outages. Hamas as a government should help the people to have proper electricity systems before thinking of imposing taxes on these alternatives. More taxes are planned to be imposed - like fees on those who wish to visit patients at the hospitals. News reports stated that fees must be paid to meet the mayor of Gaza to discuss any domestic matter with any residents. Incidentally, cigarettes are being taxed -with 1 dollar per packet. According, to the economy minster, Mr. Zeyad Al Zaza rationalized -the taxes are less than the West Bank - he justifies the taxes by saying –it was to protect the health of the people. While some others In Hamas say it is Makrooh (Islamic wise its not desirable and even prohibited to smoke). If all this is true, a question should be directed to Hamas as this, as to why have you allowed the cigarettes to enter via the tunnels in the first place?

According to the financial times the Hamas government is becoming unable to fulfill its financial commitments - most of the 25,000-30,000 Gazans employed by the local government, received their wages for the past two months, either late or only partially.

Hamas Government should not consider, taxing the people of Gaza - impose such taxes on them. The people in Gaza need more support from the government. Indeed Hamas is the one who should pay taxes for the people of Gaza – because they are still adamant and defiant on facing the Israeli occupation and the siege. Hamas should find other ways to get out of its financial problems - either by dissolving this government or forming a new government or finding other ways to get money into Gaza.

Wrong Polices of Hamas

In addition- the news coming out of Gaza is very discouraging –for example, Hamas is either closing civil society organizations or controlling them. A policy of replacement of employees is taking place, (it’s the same policy adopted by Fatah governments years ago). Looking at the media of Hamas- we can see wrong approaches - destructive news and accusations - here and there. The media of Hamas should adhere to the ethics adopted by journalists.

The problem between Hamas and Fatah should be treated within the political circles privately - not publicly, this is the wrong way. If Hamas is keen to continue its governance over Gaza, and stretch it to the West Bank - then major changes should be done on/to its charter -keeping in mind - protecting the rights of the Palestinians – to having their own state and the right of return.

Looking at Gaza’s De facto Government of Hamas we can’t sense real changes. The recent government in Gaza should be dissolved; a new government should be made that includes independent personalities with no political belonging. There are tens of well-qualified academics, thinkers and politicians who are smarter and better than Hamas’s ministers!

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About Sameh Habeeb

Gaza City, Gaza Strip, Palestine I am Sameh A. Habeeb. I'm a Palestinian born and raised in Gaza. I'm 23 years old. I have a bachelor degree in English Language and Literature. I have worked in several different fields’ pre and post of my university studies for almost 5 years. I have worked as volunteer in civil societies where I practiced tasks to help people and educate children. I worked as News Producer and a Journalist at the Ramattan News Agency which is Regional Media facility based in Gaza and the Middle East. After a year, I started to work in the relief sector with the International British NGO in my home country. I still work till now where I supervise around 350 orphans. I report their news, needs and life progress for them. In addition, I write features and photo stories about their life. In addition I contribute to implementation of projects and supervision. In December 2007, I started a brand-new stage of my life linked to peace activities, activism, tolerance and solidarity. I began to work as a peace activist with some Israeli friends to bring peace in the Middle East. This added much to my array of skills and furthered my leadership potential. I was even named as the "Barack Obama" of Palestine while I was speaking in a conference in Italy. I believe I have the quality’s associated with public speaking, research, photography and journalism to make positive changes and contributions in my career field. I am currently working as an Editor for _www.freegaza.ps/English_ (http://www.freegaza.ps/English) . I have launched many Facebook groups and other sites and organizations about peace, solidarity and outcome evaluations. I have conducted many dialogues and conferences in many countries such as Italy, Spain, Greece, UK and so forth. As a Photojournalist and writer I have my own blog: _www.gazatoday.blogspot.com_ (http://www.gazatoday.blogspot.com) . I go on site to locations as a journalist, visit families, take photos, write about the social issue or event and then publish them. I do that for free and I my work is published worldwide. I visited the European Union and was invited for a speaking session. I was invited to speak about Gaza for France, Spain, Luxembourg, Greece, Ireland and UK. I was invited to Canada last August after I was selected to participate in Quebec 400 Anniversary to speak about my experience as a journalist. Sameh A. Habeeb Photojournalist & Peace Activist Gaza Strip, Palestine Mob: 00972599306096 Tel: 0097282802825 E-mail: [email protected] [email protected] Skype: Gazatoday, Facebook Sameh A. habeeb Web: www.gazatoday.blogspot.com Daily Photos:http://picasaweb.google.com/sameh.habeeb

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