T Nation

Anti-Hamas Rallies Staged in Gaza


#1

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/6972361.stm

Thousands of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have been taking part in protests against the territory's Hamas rulers - despite a ban on public gatherings.
Prayers were organised which turned into marches through main towns. Some people were injured in clashes.

Protesters accuse the Islamist Hamas of violating civil liberties and using mosques to spread political propaganda.

The BBC's Aleem Maqbool in Gaza says this is the biggest show of opposition to Hamas since it took control in June.

Hamas had warned people not to attend the demonstrations, organised by rival factions including the long-dominant Fatah to protest against alleged civil liberty violations by Hamas.

Muslim Friday prayers became the focal point for anti-Hamas protests, our reporter says.

Thousands of supporters of rival factions organised prayers in public areas - saying Hamas was using the mosques to spread political propaganda.

The prayer meetings then turned into rallies, with protesters marching through the main cities of the Gaza Strip.

TV news footage showed Hamas security forces arresting protesters and beating some them with long sticks, before taking them away in Jeeps.

At least six Palestinians were wounded when Hamas men reportedly fired stun grenades after Fatah supporters threw rocks at a Hamas figure's home in Rafah.

Two French television journalists received minor injuries in a similar incident near a police station in Gaza City.


#2

Wow, they were throwing rocks and Hamas responded with stun grenades!! Why is Israel criticized when it responds that way, but it is ok when Hamas does it?

"Thousands of supporters of rival factions organised prayers in public areas - saying Hamas was using the mosques to spread political propaganda"

I also thought these guys were popularly elected. Where's their support now?

People who normally bitch about Israel should be up in arms this situation, but, you know it'll be twisted like a pretzel until it's all America's fault somehow.

Just wait.....


#3

Did they fall down and scrape their knees while running away?


#4

They separated their shoulders surrendering.


#5

Because Israel doesn't respond with stun grenades, they respond with tanks and assault rifle ammunition. I mean really, just how many times has Israel's army open fired on crowds of protestors?? There's no comparison Jack


#6

Who the fuck ever said it's OK for a regime to repress its citizens? C'mon GKhan, don't try to sneak in giant strawmen hoping nobody will notice.

But if you really can't see the staggering difference between the right of a democratically elected government to break protests with stun grenades, and the military of an occupying force using tanks, rockets, and lead, you are probably not even trying. Both are obviously wrongdoings, but one is many folds more outrageous an act.

Are you questioning their legitimacy or simply asking an honest question? I can't tell.

Listen here, I don't like Hamas, I despise their methods, and I hate the fact that they use the name of Allah and Mohamed when they engage on their murderous rampages. But comparing a stun grenade to a Merkava tank or an F-16 is totally disingenuous of you.


#7

Maybe they shouldn't throw rocks at armed soldiers?

I mean it's not like they are going to shoot rockets at the Israeli's right. I mean Hamas wouldn't do that would they.


#8

Just a few months ago, weren't they firing on each other in Gaza using live ammunition or was I imagining something here?

Of course a stun grenade is not the same thing as an assault rifel, but why not let the protestors protest? In a democratically elected government, the other party, in this case Fatah, should be allowed to hold protests, should they not?

Hamas is trying to stop the protest because they and Fatah are rival gangs first, political parties second.


#9

Yes they should be allowed to protest. And?

You get beaten, arrested, and pelted with rubber bullets and/or chemicals if you protest in the US as well.

If this happened in the US you'd be calling the liberal protestors hippies and deserving of the violence. Since they're protesting Hamas in the strip though, it's dandy.

Why didn't you make this thread when Israeli soldiers open fired on protestors including women and children?


#10

I don't know about that. My friend went to a huge anti-Bush rally that was in Washington a while back and no one was injured. It was actually televised on CSPAN.

So, you think Fatah are liberal hippie protestors? I didn't know Arafat was a flower child.

But seriously.....

I never said it was dandy there was violence. I said they should have the right to protest in an alleged democracy and it was a shame that there was violence.

There was a thread about Israelis firing on Palestinians. Dustin had video to back it up. I said the Palestinians should get better Public Relations people and show that to the world, instead of blowing up busses.

We went to war because an Iraqi dissident testified in front of congress or the UN, I can't remember which, saying that Iraqi soldiers pulled the plug on Kuwaiti premature baby incubators.

Now that's what I call P.R. If the Palestinians want the world behind them, including the US, they need to get their message out there. When they blow up busses, cafe's and pizza joints, it makes for bad press and in post 9-11 America, no one will feel sorry for them.

Like it or not, that's just the way it is.


#11

Yeah, you'd think people have the right to protest. In other news, and in a much more stable place (i.e: no regular incursions of foreign tanks, warplanes, etc...).

[i]More than 450 people have been arrested after police using tear gas and water cannon clashed with protesters in the Chilean capital, Santiago.

The worst violence broke out when police tried to prevent demonstrators marching on the presidential palace.

Dozens of people were injured, among them a socialist senator.[/i]

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6969439.stm

Let's face it, Haniyeh's replacement was illegal. Were I a member of Hamas, I'd be really pissed at Fatah for pulling out that de facto authority of Fayyad over the West Bank crap.

Hamas is trying to stop the protest because it sees the possibility of a coup in the making. A coup with the blessing and support of the democracy-hungry West might I add.


#12

What fantasy land do you live in? How old are you?


#13

Fantasy world?

Protesting in the US gets you sprayed, clubbed, kicked, and/or arrested.

Perhaps if you stay in your "free speech zone" and don't get too loud, you may be able to avoid the police brutality, but don't count on it.

What fucking fantasy land do YOU live in Zap?

And just one instance of Israeli soldiers firing on protestors- http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2004/05/19/mideast_rafah040519.html


#14

That is one excellent point. Indeed, why don't the Palestinians concentrate on PR?

To understand why (or more accurately "why not"), you must first realize that the US press bias does not extend to the rest of the world - besides maybe Australia. It's universally accepted that Israel engages in acts of terrorism and that it is keeping millions of people in an open-air prison. American media portray it as a necessary evil without which the sovereignty of Israel would be threatened. I can't really tell you where the bias stems from without sounding like JTF, but let me at least mention teh phenomenal weight of AIPAC. Anyone following the case of Norman Finkelstein's tenure at DePaul University can smell something really fishy going on. The Prof has an outstanding record, has been unanimously recommended by the faculty, and his classes operate at full enrollment capacity, yet the dean is intransigent because of the heat he got from Harvard. That's just an illustration. A better one would be picking up a so-called "liberal media" like the NYT for a year and noticing how violent incidents involving a handful of Israelis are always front page material, whereas Palestinians barely even make it on the corner of page twenty-something.

For any change in policy to occur, the only country that matters is the United States.

Now, I don't know if you have any idea at the figures involved for acquiring a newspaper or TV channel in the US mainstream media, but suffice it to say that a people who would starve if other countries didn't feed them, cannot afford as much as a radio station, let alone any channel susceptible of reaching the American masses.

It was the 15-years old daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador in Washington.

In that particular case, I prefer terms like deceit or propaganda.

Again, there is universal consensus on what should be done. The only countries on the face of the planet to reject it are the US and Israel. So, don't try to argue that the world is insensitive to the plight of the Palestinian people. Strip the US of its Veto and you force Israel to sit down at the negotiation table with good faith. Keep sheltering them, and you ensure that the cycle of violence never stops. Given that policy makers in the US profit immensely from keeping the flow of weapons to the region (subsidized by taxes of working Americans), the situation is unlikely to change. Unless, you guys elect someone with the integrity of a Ron Paul. Sadly, his chances appear bleak...for now.


#15

We did exactly that and came to an agreement on 9-11-91. The Arabs repaid us for trying to achieve peace on 9-11-2001


#16

Did something special happen on that day? I can't recall.

If you're gonna adopt this attitude, there's no point debating with you now is there?


#17

Wow, the Oslo accords were actually 09-13-93, you got me there.

I did some further research and found this:

"Another interesting theory is that the terrorists chose that date
because of the date's significance to Palestine:

"The Oaths of office for the High Commissioner and Commander in Chief
for Palestine were administered at Jerusalem on September 11, 1922. So
that is 9-11-22 when the British Mandate for Palestine was officially
begun with the swearing in oath.

In the video, bin Laden said this:

When the sword reached America after 80 years...

1922 to 2001 is 79 years, but perhaps that is the 80 years he refers to."

http://www.answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=291605

so yes, something special did happen on that day, just not what I had thought.


#18

I'm upping this for Zap.


#19

Thanks.

There are countless protests in the US with no violence.
I remember number of them where I live.

On the few occassions there is trouble it is usually instigated by some jackass. To pretend otherwise is silly. The same cannot be said in Hamas dominated Gaza or Iran.


#20

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6978540.stm

one word describes the banning of protests and gatherings for prayers, disgusting.