Though Hamas won elections in January 2006, its efforts to govern have been stymied by sanctions, an Israeli siege and Fatah’s attempts to discredit it, according to commentator Jamal Dajani. With Hamas’ recent victory over Fatah in the Gaza Strip, Israel and Washington may now have to do what was once unthinkable: recognize Hamas as a legitimate political party.
“We are now like a group of wild cats that once were spoiled and dignified but now caged in and starved. On the political level, our leaders look like small players while the big ones are living somewhere else, like Washington, Tel Aviv and Tehran,” wrote Dr. Eyad El Sarraj in an email to friends living in the outside world on the current crisis in the Gaza Strip.
Two years ago, Sarraj invited me to his home in Gaza for tea and sweets. He had just returned from a swim in the Mediterranean.
“The sea is my only escape…of course I can only do that when the Israelis are not shelling us,” he said while drying his hair. At that time I interviewed Sarraj for a documentary I was working on. He spoke to me in detail about the effects of the occupation on the mental health of Palestinian children, an area of expertise that he developed while running the only mental health clinic in the Gaza Strip.Read More