JAFFA, Israel – Gaza premier and Hamas’ deputy diplomatic leader Ismail Haniyeh came under fire over the weekend for saying that life in Gaza is “good.”
Gaza is the land of justice, Haniyeh exclaimed. “Our citizens don’t suffer from any worries. Gaza is the land of order, security, and stability,” he added, “despite fallacious media reports and rumors that are meant to hurt the morale of our people. Don’t worry about Gaza.”
He further stated that the security situation in the Strip is significantly better than in the West Bank. “Life is good here and we’re happy,” he said. “Gaza is a place of safety and security, of Islam and peace, of resistance, of no injustice, of no anarchy. Gaza has nothing but good for our people.”
Haniyeh’s remarks were met with strident criticism from Fatah.
“Haniyeh’s remarks are made to cover for the shocking misery Hamas’ leadership brought the lives of Gazans into,” Fatah spokesperson Munir Aljagub said. “It’s a web of lies that seeks to sway attention from the disaster that is every aspect of life in Gaza following Hamas’ seizure of the Strip.”
“When Haniyeh says that life in Gaza is good and happy he can only speak for himself, because Hamas leaders live a life of prosperity and wealth,” he added. “They live off people’s tax money as well as the cigarette trade that has become Hamas’ main source of income.”
“Hamas continues to promote war and peddle people’s misery,” he went on to say. “The oppressed people of Gaza can read behind the lines and know the background to Haniyeh’s comments. They struggle to bring food to the table, and their lives fall far short of Haniyeh’s prosperous and wealthy lifestyle.”
He said Haniyeh didn’t address the fact that young people have no future in Gaza, and whoever dares protest is treated with an iron fist. Aljagub added that Haniyeh ignored dozens of suicides, including the self-immolation of young people. On the other hand, Hamas leaders and their children enjoy a lavish lifestyle.
“When talking about enjoying the good life, do you include the unemployed, or the university graduates that you took off the welfare lists to benefit your cronies,” he asked.
Contrary to Haniyeh’s claims, a World Bank report warned last May that the Gaza Strip’s economy is on the “verge of collapse,” and that some 40 percent of the territory’s residents live in poverty even though upwards of 80 percent receive international aid .