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Awaking to a different Gaza
Friday, June 15, 2007 :In Gaza people awake today to a new reality. Last night, my host Isa told me military coups were the sort of thing he heard and read about, he never thought he would experience one. Yesterday Gazans did.
Although the final Fatah stronghold was still standing by the evening Hamas fighters were already making the rounds in the streets, three and four jeeps at a time, loaded with armed men wearing all black, their faces covered with masks, holding their guns in the air, a few, rather uncomfortably, waving to the people. On al-Aqsa, the only remaining radio station being aired from Gaza belonging to Hamas, these areas are being called "freed" from the traitors.
A former Fatah spokesman, now speaking on behalf of Hamas, was heard on the air denouncing his former leaders, calling them US spies and traitors.
A further shock came around 8pm when Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) announced Gaza a renegade entity and declared his presidency over the West Bank. Gazans reacted with disgust. During the fighting of the past few days Abu Mazan was largely silent, ordering his forces to stay in their bases. Many consider Abu Mazen to have sold out his own leadership in the Gaza Strip by not coming to their rescue; now he was throwing his people (Fatah supporters) away, like garbage, they said.