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Home arrow Palestinian Elections arrow Why Hamas Won
Why Hamas Won PDF Print E-mail
Feb 07, 2006 at 12:00 AM
Israel Created the Conditions for Hamas’s Success
by Neve Gordon [Counterpunch, February 7, 2006]

“Although it is still unclear what the future holds for Israelis and Palestinians, a few things can be said about the processes that enabled Hamas to win a landslide victory in the January 25 democratic elections and how the organization?s triumph will likely affect the local political arena.

Founded in Gaza at the beginning of the first Intifada (December 1987) by Sheik Ahmad Yassin, Hamas is a direct extension of the Muslim =rotherhood. Although in the media Hamas tends to be identified with its military arm, Izzeddin al-Qassam, which is well known for its suicide attacks against Israeli targets, the organization?s popularity in the Occupied Territories actually stems from its being seen as the voice of Palestinian dignity and the symbol of the defense of Palestinian rights at a time of unprecedented hardship, humiliation, and despair.

People who voted for Hamas emphasize not only the heroic acts of its combatants, but also its reputation for clean conduct, modesty, and honesty, which have been pointedly contrasted with the corruption of the Palestinian Authority. Many of its followers do not subscribe to religious fundamentalism, but rather support the organization due to its pragmatic approach characterized by support for the short-term objective of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, while still maintaining the long-term goal of establishing an Islamic state that would replace Israel and offer a solution to the Palestinian refugee problem.

Most importantly, perhaps, Hamas acquired much of its political credit from its charity and social service networks...”

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Facts and Figures about the Current Darkness in the Gaza Strip

January 23rd 2008

Report from the Palestinian Hydrology Group
  1. Gaza Strip today is facing a very harsh siege which is expected to have severely negative humanitarian impact.
  2. The distribution of drinking water and the collection and treatment of wastewater completely rely on electricity and fuel in Gaza Strip.
  3. For several months now Israel has imposed a cruel siege on the Strip preventing people and goods from free movement. This has immobilized the importing of spare parts, pumps, pipes and other necessary accessories for the water and sanitation providing facilities.
  4. According to different sources the water and sanitation services are expected to be completely paralyzed within a matter of hours due to the lack of fuel reserves.
  5. About 133 water wells are being used for domestic purposes in addition to 33 sewage pump stations and three treatment plants; 10 of these groundwater wells function using fuel while the rest rely on electricity. Diesel powered generators are normally used as backup for the whole system but only for a limited time.
    The Coastal Municipalities Water Utility needs at least 100,000 liters of diesel per month to operate the water system. An additional 100,000 liters of diesel per month are needed for the sewage system to prevent wastewater from flooding the streets and residential areas.
  6. Reducing electricity and fuel supplies are potential causes to trigger an environmental crisis especially in the wastewater pump stations and treatment plants. If wastewater is not treated it will have to be pumped directly to the sea. This will for sure have a direct and negative impact on the groundwater aquifer and marine life.
    During winter time sewage pumps need to operate about 24 hours per day due to rainfall. Therefore, interruptions in fuel and electricity supply would be particularly significant.
  7. The sewage treatment plant in Beit Lahiya is also vulnerable to interruptions in electricity supplies. The treatment lagoons must be pumped regularly, or else the 10,000 people living in the area are in danger.  Six months ago, one of the lagoons over flooded and caused the death of five persons. Proper maintenance could have prevented the disaster.
  8. The water supply in Gaza City, with a total of 600,000 residents, in addition to a major part of the central portion of the Strip is expected to be completely cut-off as a result of ceasing the pumping from the municipal groundwater wells. The City also faces the threat of overflowing wastewater since the pumps (especially Al Samer and Aqoola stations) are expected to stop operating within the next 24 hours.
  9. If the current situation should persist the solid wastes generated in the Strip will accumulate in piles on the streets endangering the health of the locals.

The WaSH Monitoring Program calls on the International Community to push Israel to immediately cease all military operations, reopen the borders to allow the movement of people and goods and provide fuel supply and humanitarian aid to the residents of Gaza.

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