Gazans Blame Hamas for Economic Woes

Party shares blame with Israel for sky-high unemployment
By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 20, 2010 9:25 AM CDT
Gazans Blame Both Hamas and Israel for Unemployment
Masked Palestinian Hamas militants hold a press conference in Gaza City, Thursday, Sept. 2, 2010. To relaunch Middle East peace talks on Thursday, the Israeli and Palestinian leaders and their American mediators quietly agreed to push aside the question of Hamas - the Islamic militant group that controls...   (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

As joblessness mounts in the beleaguered Gaza Strip, more and more residents are blaming the ruling Hamas party for their woes, GlobalPost reports. Although Gaza has one of the fastest population growth rates on earth, 45% of people have no job and 85% depend on aid to get by. And while Palestinians largely blame Israel’s stifling economic blockade, they are increasingly turning their ire on Hamas, too.

“Before five or six years, it was much, much better—until Hamas came here,” one resident says, while another adds that most new jobs go to Hamas supporters. In their defense, Hamas officials say their hands are tied by the closed Israeli border. “We create all the jobs we can,” one says. “When people are under siege, what can they do?”
(More Gaza stories.)

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