As Hamas’s ability to rule the Gaza Strip crumbles, Palestinian fear of the terror group is disappearing, leading towards anarchy.
Gaza residents openly criticize Hamas in front of TV cameras—once unthinkable—and call the Iran-backed Hamas “betrayers of the Palestinian people.”
In one notable incident, a resident of Gaza told Radio Hebron, which also broadcasts from the Strip, that Hamas leaders Mohammed Deif and Yahya Sinwar “are sons of dogs.”
“Hamas’s central government has completely collapsed and the interior and police systems are also not fully functioning,” one Palestinian official has told Tazpit Press Service. There are no rescue and civil defense teams, and residents are busy clearing the rubble from their homes, the official said.
Residents report widespread looting of food rations and medicine delivered from Arab countries through Egypt’s Rafah border crossing. In particular, trucks are hijacked by armed Hamas operatives or criminals, who then sell the aid themselves.
One resident was filmed pointing to a bag of food clearly labeled with the words “not for sale” and being required to pay 40 shekels ($10) for it.
There are also reports of black-market deals in the hundreds of shelters where Palestinians are staying, where food and medicine are sold.
Israeli sources claim that morale among Hamas’s fighting units in the northern areas of Gaza is extremely low, and there have been significant desertions following the killing of Hamas brigade commanders in Israeli air strikes.
In southern Gaza, dozens of kitchens have opened on the sidewalks, from which volunteers distribute hot food to displaced Gazans. Gas cylinders for cooking are in short supply after large numbers were stolen by Hamas operatives.
Khan Yunis, Gaza’s second largest city, is considered the capital of the Strip’s southern district. It is also regarded as the personal stronghold of Hamas leader Sinwar, whose family lives there.
Before the war, Hamas oversaw a civilian administration of around 50,000 employees.
At least 1,200 people were killed in Hamas’s attacks on Israeli communities near the Gaza border on Oct. 7. Hamas currently holds 137 men, women, children, soldiers and foreigners captive in Gaza. Some people remain unaccounted for as Israeli authorities continue to identify bodies and search for human remains.