Store Rooms Are Turned Into Torture Chambers. Beatings and humiliation tactics are practiced. Many Arabs feel trapped. Personal possessions can be confiscated, women are not allowed to swim at the beach or smoke, and western music is forbidden with equipment to play them confiscated.
The Saga of Gaza:
No one is starving in Gaza, there have been no dead bodies produced that showed skeletal people who died of malnutrition. These are all lies that are used to excuse the cancer of flotilla ships headed for Israel's Gaza strip to break the security naval blockade on the Gazan terrorist government. In fact, Gaza just opened a beautiful shopping mall in Gaza city. Their hotels offer luxurious cuisine and their stores and market places are constantly stocked.
So aside from the lies of famine that they blame Israel for, what is REALLY going on in the Gaza strip? What are the Arabs who live there saying themselves, about living under the Hamas?
Why should the world grant this population of Arabs a state of their own? Let's remember, that in the original agreements, the Hamas wasn't offered a state, the state was offered to the ARAB PEOPLE, represented then, by Arafat's Palestinian Liberation Organization. Arafat was chosen to represent these Arabs in Israel because the world felt that he was the strong man, and could make a peace treaty happen.
However, on the face of things, the international community also supports 'democracy' and the ability of people to elect their own leaders. In 2006, the Arabs living in Gaza freely elected, in democratic elections, the Hamas to represent them and lead them. According to democratic rules, this entity should now be it's recognized and legitimate leaders. Therefore, the West would not necessarily be adverse to the Muslim Arab people getting their 23rd state - with whomever they elected 'democratically'. However, read below most, but not the entire content, of an article (translated by Sartaba's Yonaton Silverman) that was published in the Yediot Ahronot.
Hamas' logo which contains guns.
WHEN GAZA SCREAMS IN PAIN
IT SAYS HAMAS
The Bathing Beaches Are Off Limits To Women
Musicians Hide From The Authorities
Store Rooms Are Turned Into Torture Chambers
And People Feel Trapped
Lorenzo Kremonzi Returned From Gaza With An Up To Date Portrait
From Desolation Row.
Special for Yediot Ahronot
By Lorenzo Kremonzi, Gaza
Corriere della Serra
One of the foreign peace activists who swore to return in more flotillas with aid for the Palestinians, asked that they bring him an electronic mixer for his rock band. However his request defies the orders of the ruling power in Gaza, the same power that the peace activists are aiding against the Israeli siege on Gaza. "Our old mixer was confiscated by the Hamas police.," he explained. "We are victims of the oppression of the religious powers, who from distorted readings of the Islamic texts prohibit people from playing music. Their green Allah is abhorrent to us." The speaker is Bashar Basiaso, the popular singer from the Rap group Farik Salam (Peace Group).
Jamal Abu El Kusman, 43, director of the most popular art gallery on "Desolation Row" states succinctly "God bless all the advocates of democracy from around the world who are fighting the Israeli embargo on Gaza�"but please, can't you also condemn the repression of intellectual freedom for which Hamas is responsible?"
Anyone Who Can Leaves
These confessions are only two of an endless series of cases one encounters in the area. The most striking recent events were the attacks against youth organizations on 23 May and 28 June, when dozens of masked and armed Hamas terrorists burned down summer camps for students organized by UNRWA on the beach. At the end of May, on the very day the Israeli commandos stormed the Marmara, the Hamas police in Gaza halted the activities of five non governmental local organizations . "They want to force us to close the camps in which both boys and girls are participants," charges Muhammad Aduki an employee of the Shark organization. "They aim to wipe out secular culture."
This is another chapter in the culture war that has been taking place here for a long time. The religious fanatics insist that women and girls stay away from the beaches or smoke in public, forbid unmarried couples from appearing together in private, and see music and western fashions as a danger to "public morals". Every attempt to elicit an explanation for this from Hamas representatives in the Gaza Strip results in the same answer: "Our civil administration has no connection to this. Speak to the police." However the policemen and agents just say "no comment". The only clear voice seems to be Ahmed Yusuf's deputy foreign minister and president of the committee for the struggle against the siege. Yusuf says that "Israel has exclusive possession of power. Hamas therefore tries to dictate one regime in the Gaza strip."
Hamas Terrorist Morale Building Website
The main problem is that the victims are afraid to speak. Hamas exercises totalitarian rule in Gaza, worse than a "Godfather" for Gazans. Punishments mean not just imprisonment or torture, but mainly ostracism, being deprived of a job, humiliation and social alienation. Basiaso angrily describes a recent attack he endured. "I was riding around on my motor bike, when suddenly a group of armed men from the Iz Adin Al Qassam Brigades approached and threw me to the ground and beat me with clubs . A few days earlier they raided our studio and confiscated cameras and video cassettes. Now I am working on a protest song against Hamas oppression." Ibrahim Gohanim, a member of Basiaso's group remembers that when the PLO was in power the situation was much better. "There are at least five Rap groups here now. They tell us we are agents of Satan the American, that we corrupt the youth. The result is that anyone who can leaves. Friends from other bands received invitations to perform abroad and they never returned.
Jamal Abu El Kumsan had bad luck however. Until two weeks ago he could not sit or lie on his back on account of beatings to which he was subjected intermittently for two weeks, a widespread common punishment in the Gaza Strip. First the police summon you to the police station or jail. There the interrogations begin, "from 7:00 AM until late at night - after midnight. The most common punishment is they stand you beside a wall all afternoon in the blistering sun and they force you to do absurd physical exercises," relates Jamal, for example make like you are riding a bicycle. For hours you pedal as if you are riding. Afterwards they send you home, so you won't be registered as a prisoner, and they won't need to give you food. "In the morning you have to go back and spend the whole day." For Abu Kusman this ended with more than pedaling. "They accused me of corrupting youth, that I let them smoke the nargila, exploited them sexually. They whipped me with belts and struck me with clubs."
But this could have ended much worse if they had taken Abu Kusman to a seaside villa that once belonged to Abu Mazen. Here it seems the villas store rooms have been turned into torture chambers. The most brutal interrogation techniques: Hamas spies are also included with the prisoners, a method borrowed directly from Israel. No Palestinian activist over age 30 has been spared the experience in his flesh. The innovation in Gaza is the growing influence of an apparatus that serves units of the Iranian Basiji. These are special troops hand picked by Az Adin Al Qassam and are trained directly by the Iranians. "The objective is to enforce complete cultural and political conformism" explains a local jail keeper.
So, for example, recently they confiscated the personal computer of Asama El Gul a journalist who fights to defend intellectuals, and they charged her with "moral turpitude" after she publicly criticized the decision to impose censorship against musicians and poets. Her good friend, a journalist who works with the broadcasters El Arabiya, was arrested after she was caught in an automobile with a young man who isn't a family member.
Abu Omar (not his real name) a veteran activist in the Front To Liberate Palestine, is also a subversive in hiding: In the refugee camp Jebalya he produces wine that he sells at a 100 liter level every year. "This is my rebellion against the prohibition over selling alcohol the Islamics have imposed, and their penetration into private life as if this were Afghanistan and they are the Taliban," he says,and holds up a photo of his friend Hasan Muhammad Hajazi, also a Palestine Front activist who was murdered in January 2009, when Hamas exploited the heated battles during Operation Cast Lead to eliminate adversaries. "If I show this photo in the street I risk being arrested."
These are the unexpected repercussions of the Israeli closure. A scenario reminiscent of the embargo on Iraq under Saddam Hussein. The economic blockade, the isolation, and wagging the finger of blame toward the local regime created tremendous problems on an international plane, but strengthened his hand at home, and provided him, albeit indirectly, legitimacy to harshly oppress the civilian population. This is what Ataf Abu Saif claims who lectures in political science in the extension school of Al Azhar University in Gaza, "Hamas rules in Gaza today far better than a few years ago", but its popularity seems to be decreasing," he says
"free elections like in 2006 are obviously impossible today. At best there will be some agreement under the table to divide votes with Fatah. Hamas theocracy spells the end of the dream of democracy," adds a famous journalist from a foreign new service who insists on anonymity. "The thing is, unlike Iraq, the elections in the territories in 2006 were democratic, and concluded with a decisive victory for Hamas. The left wing movements in Europe are right to criticize the governments that do not recognize these election results. In a democracy it is not acceptable to approve results you like and reject the ones you don't like."
Hamas is like Hitler, or even more like the Muslims in Algeria, says Abu Saif.
The Start Of Global Jihad
Abu Saif repeats exactly what many claim in the Arab world, from Gaza to Cairo: Hamas has no intention to endanger the existing situation. It has no desire for an agreement with Abu Mazen, for elections or for any contact with Israel. "Hamas is tied to the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran. It controls its territory and it has an Islamic program more than a national program," he says. "Hamas is not looking for concessions or an even playing field. It sees Gaza as the start of Global Jihad." ......
.....A recent public opinion survey in the Gaza Strip indicates that 41 percent of the young people aspire to move elsewhere. The corruption that people denounced in the days of Fatah rule and which brought Hamas to power is also turned against Hamas now. The decision of prime minister Ismayil Haniya (48) to take a second wife, a 22 year old widow of a former body guard, od also contributing to the mass displeasure with him.
"The Israeli siege is a terrible thing. We live in an open prison exposed to the sun," concludes Aduki. "But the motivation of the first intifada and the second is dead and buried. There is the desire to escape to a private refuge, to find personal satisfaction. Once there were students here who refused to accept scholarships from foreign universities in order to continue fighting against the Zionist occupation here in the Gaza Strip. Today everyone wants to escape, and it isn't only Israel who stops them. Egypt permits passage through Rafiah drop by drop, and Hamas only allows its supporters out. From their perspective the rest are only subjects who need to be brainwashed to read the Koran correctly".