14.01.2011 9.Shevat, 5771
Far from being crippled by sanctions and siege, Gaza’s Islamist rulers have managed to develop growing local sources of income, mainly by exploitation.
Since Israel’s August 2005 withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, Hamas has evolved from a relatively small movement into a well-funded conglomerate. Instead of being crippled by sanctions and siege, the organization has found ways to surmount early difficulties – such as frequent payroll delays – and establish an effective system of governance, ever tightening its grip over its fiefdom. As a result, Hamas has been able to empower loyalists while leaving the main burden of responsibility for Gaza’s 1.6 million residents to others. Unfortunately, both the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority and international donors have tolerated this situation, effectively contributing, if indirectly, to Hamas’s coffers….