Hamas implementing more stringent authoritarian measures against civil society

In a very serious development, Hamas has passed an edict that any gathering of more than 20 citizens anywhere in Gaza must receive official written pre-approval.  This includes any gathering, even if non-political. This will of course intimidate ordinary citizens and civic groups.

The media has not yet reported on this worrisome impingement on the freedom of Palestinian citizens.  Iran’s regime created a repressive totalitarian state by ferreting out any and all freedoms to congregate or express oneself.  If Hamas gets away with this measure, it will start imposing other measures until it destroys any possibility of a democratic process to reunite Gaza and the West Bank, let alone for Palestinians in Gaza to vote on a possible two-state-solution referendum.

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