The headline “Government destroys Arab homes on ‘government land’” normally would draw fire and brimstone from mainstream media and the United Nations if Israel were the subject, but not if the government is Hamas.
The Hamas regime in Gaza began demolishing several homes on Sunday, according to the Bethlehem-based Ma'an news agency, closely aligned with the Palestinian Authority.
One resident told the news agency that more than 120 families live in a four-acre area that is now under the threat of destruction although they have been living there since 1948, when Gaza was part of Egypt.
The resident, named Abu Al-Abed Abu Omra, wants the Hamas regime to provide the families with alternate land after expelling them from their homes near Gaza’s Al-Azhar University. Hamas previously offered the families land to the south, but the families rejected the suggestion because they would be too close to Israel’s ”no-go” zone.
Although the United Nations, the European Union and the United States protest whenever Israel demolishes an Arab home in Jerusalem or Judea and Samaria, they have been silent on demolitions by Hamas.
This is not the first time Hamas has torn down homes and expelled residents. In February, Hamas authorities demolished several homes because it wanted the land for widening a coastal road.
In Israel, most of the homes that the government demolishes in Judea and Samaria belong to Jews, and mainstream media and the international community usually praise such actions because they consider Jews to be “occupiers” in “illegal” outposts. Israeli legal experts issued a report last week that showed that Israelis have a right to live in Judea and Samaria, which they said is not “occupied territory.”
On the other hand, Gaza never was a legal part of Egypt, which occupied the area after the War for Independence in 1948 and until the Six-Day War in 1967. Cairo never had any interest in developing the densely populated and poverty-stricken area and never expressed interest in talking back Gaza.
Ironically, Gaza flourished under Israeli sovereignty but sank back into recession following the First and Second Intifadas in the late 1980s and since 2000. After the Sharon government unilaterally expelled 9,000 Jews from the Gaza regional and destroyed their homes in the summer of 2005, the Palestinian Authority took full control of the area.
Hamas ousted the rival Fatah faction, headed by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, in a bloody militia war in 2007, and in has occupied Gaza since then.