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Last updated on August 9th, 2017 at 09:40 am
Tensions are rising among the heavily armed residents of Gaza, reports the LA Times:
Men are beating their wives and fighting with their neighbors. Families are living on the generosity of relatives and credit from merchants, both of which are starting to run dry. Youth are turning to petty crime.
Only petty crime? Can’t they afford the real thing?
In Khan Yunis, a gritty southern Gaza city that features a thriving gunrunning trade, Brig. Gen. Mustafa Wafi’s police force struggles to keep up. “People have a lot of weapons, and the slightest things set them off,” he said.
Sounds like these people need … a state!
Thousands of young Palestinian men belong to armed militant groups. The militarization of Gazan society makes it more likely that otherwise harmless scuffles will turn deadly.
In a personal conflict, “they end up using the weapons that they have to defend against the occupation against each other,” said Abu Thaer, a spokesman for the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade militia.
How sweet. A community service announcement from the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade.
In May, a 59-year-old man suffering from heart failure was brought into the Khan Yunis hospital’s emergency room. When informed of the man’s death, his family “went crazy and trashed the emergency room…. Anyone wearing a white coat was beaten,” said Dr. Nasser Azaar, the emergency room director.
Three months later, Azaar remains shocked by the fact that several local doctors related to the man participated in the frenzied destruction.
That isn’t the only episode of what the Times calls “hospital violence”:
According to several accounts, the fight started when at least 30 armed members of the Jundeya family came to visit a sick relative. Executive Force guards demanded that they surrender their weapons before entering, triggering a confrontation.
For two hours, he two forces traded gunfire on the hospital grounds as family elders tried to mediate. There were no deaths, but at least three Executive Force members and an unknown number of Jundeya fighters were injured.
If you’re going to be injured in a shoot-out, best do it on hospital grounds.
The aggressive behavior of Gaza’s clans points to a creeping erosion of public faith in the law, said Hamdi Shaqqura of the Palestine Center of Human Rights.
An erosion of public faith in the law? Under an Hamas government? Why, the very notion is absurd.
(Via J.F. Beck)
UPDATE. Look out, Hamas! The voters won’t be happy to hear this:
In a rare case of self-criticism, a senior official in the Hamas-led government said the Palestinians have bungled the aftermath of Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and called on residents to stop blaming Israel for all their woes.