Hundreds of Palestinians evacuating from Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip chanted “Down with Hamas” on Saturday in a video posted on social media by Israeli authorities as cracks in the terror group’s control of the enclave continue to grow.
The video was posted on social media by the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), a unit within the Israeli Defense Ministry which coordinates civilian issues between the Israeli government, military, international organizations and the Palestinian Authority.
“Exclusive footage: Myriads of Gazans evacuate to a secure humanitarian area, chanting ‘Down with Hamas.’ The video was captured in the new passage in western Khan Younis, enabling Gaza residents to access the Al-Muwasi humanitarian area,” tweeted COGAT.
According to COGAT official Maj.-Gen. Rasan Aliyan, “In recent days, we have been seeing more and more evidence of public criticism voiced by the residents of Gaza against the Hamas terrorist organization. The residents of the Gaza Strip rightly prefer their own well-being and the safety of their children to the continued strengthening of Hamas militants and the terrorist activities that harm them and their future.”
The show of opposition against Hamas within Gaza, once considered unthinkable, comes on the heels of similar incidents in recent days.
On Wednesday, protesting Palestinians in Deir al-Balah—including numerous children—called on the terror group to release Israeli hostages and end the war so they can return to their homes in northern Gaza.
Outside Deir al-Balah’s Al Aqsa Martyrs Hospital, the children held white pieces of paper saying, “Yes to giving back the prisoners” and expressing wishes to return to homes in Jabaliya and Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip.
That protest came one day after another small demonstration against Hamas in the southern Gaza city of Rafah. Videos circulating on social media featured Palestinians cursing Hamas and Gaza strongman Yahya Sinwar, who masterminded the Oct. 7 massacre.
Although there is no organized opposition to Hamas in Gaza, the Iran-backed terror organization has reportedly deployed security personnel to refugee centers, schools and other locations in recent days to prevent similar protests.
At least 1,200 people were killed in Hamas’s attacks on Israeli communities near the Gaza border on Oct. 7, 2023. Hamas currently holds 136 men, women, children and soldiers captive in Gaza. Some people remain unaccounted for as Israeli authorities continue to identify bodies and search for human remains.