Hamas Suppresses Prayer Protest Driven by the People, not by Fatah

Sep 12, 2007 Published under Gaza, Middle East, OneVoice Movement, PeaceWorks Foundation

The first set of sad news for the people of Gaza this last week was that Hamas again violently suppressed the popular non-violent protest driven by the people. 

I had reported a couple weeks ago that the people in Gaza were self-organizing a day of prayer outside the mosques, as an expression against the hijacking of religion and co-opting of all mosques by Hamas.

After the demonstrations took place, Hamas lashed out and reacted violently.

That did not deter the citizens, who last Friday again demonstrated by praying outside the mosques.

But for some reason the media is reporting that these demonstrations are organized by Fatah, and that Hamas is lashing out against Fatah supporters.

Certainly many of those demonstrating must be Fatah supporters.  But to dismiss this as a political move on the part of the Fatah party is to miss the big and real point – that these demonstrations were truly driven by civil society, by young people, by different NGOs upset at Hamas’s oppression.

This is not about power struggles between two factions.

This is about suppression of liberty, vs. citizens’ quest to regain their freedom.

So the second set of sad news is that Fatah is trying to co-opt a courageous move from ordinary citizens and claim it as its own, causing harm to the cause.

This is not the first time this happens.  Many times when OneVoice has taken important initiatives, one political party has tried to co-opt our work, forcing us to not take such initiatives, because OneVoice must remain non-partisan and not aligned to any existing political party.

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