TEL AVIV – The United Nations released a report Tuesday concluding that the Gaza Strip has become “unlivable” since the terror group Hamas seized the coastal enclave a decade ago, and that conditions are set to decline even further over the coming years.
The report, “Gaza – 1o Years On,” published by the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO), said living conditions in Gaza are deteriorating “further and faster” than the last investigation predicted, and that its 2 million residents are suffering from substadard healthcare, education, incomes and a dire lack of electricity and fresh water.
“Upon seizing control of Gaza, Hamas has increasingly tightened its grip on power, including by executing, maiming and jailing opponents and suppressing dissent,” the report’s introduction stated. “For years, Hamas was able to sustain its de facto authority and build up its military strength primarily through controlling the movement of goods smuggled through tunnels between Gaza and Egypt and taxing this trade, while the Palestinian Authority paid for essential services to Gaza residents, including some civil service salaries, electricity, water and medical care.”
The report also emphasized that attempts to end the rivalry between Hamas and the Fatah party of PA President Mahmoud Abbas — from which the Hamas terror group seized control of the Strip in 2007 — had all failed. “The key issues separating the factions have remained unchanged over the years, with continuing ideological differences, including over the recognition of the right of Israel to exist and the use of violence,” it stated.
An administrative committee set up by Hamas to run “governmental affairs” in Gaza earlier this year had only led to a “hardening of the divisions” between the two factions, the report said.
The report also highlighted Hamas’ track record of severe human rights violations, which include torture and executions. full story