Senior Hamas official criticises terror group for not building shelters to protect Gazans

Hamas government employee criticises group for ‘crazy, uncalculated leap’


Hamas has been criticised by one their government officials for not building shelters for civilians and not distributing food or medicine

A senior Hamas government employee in Gaza has revealed his fury towards Hamas for putting civilian lives in Gaza in peril with its attack on southern Israel on October 7 and for “neglecting” the home front – including the lack of rocket shelters.

The Hamas official, who spoke to the BBC on the condition of anonymity, said: “I know from my work with the Hamas government that it prepared well for the attack militarily, but it neglected the home front.”

The source criticised the terror group for not building any shelters. Although Hamas constructed a vast network of tunnels under the Gaza Strip, larger in scale than the London Underground network, the group has not built a single shelter for civilians in Gaza.

“They did not build any safe shelters for people, they did not reserve enough food, fuel and medical supplies,” the source told the BBC.

“If my family and I survive this war, I will leave Gaza, the first chance I get.”

The comments from the government official echo those shared by another resident who told BBC reporters, “People say things like, ‘Hamas has destroyed us’ or even call on God to take their lives.”

“They ask what the 7 October attacks were for - some say they were a gift to Israel,” the anonymous male resident told reporters.

Increasing numbers of Gazans have begun to speak out against Hamas for starting the war which has lasted nine months and brought death and destruction to Gaza.

Ameen Abed, a Jabaliya resident and a political activist, who has been arrested by Hamas for speaking out against them before the war, said dissent was becoming more common.

“In Gaza, most people criticise what Hamas has done,” he said.

“They see children living in tents, and insulting their leaders has become routine. But it has a lot of support among those outside Gaza’s border, who are sitting under air conditioners in their comfortable homes, who have not lost a child, a home, a future, a leg.”

Abed told the New York Times, “I do not want to sacrifice my life, my home and house for anyone,” including Hamas. “Who are you to impose this kind of life on me?”

“There is uncontrolled anger against Hamas. It threw the Palestinian people into the bottom of the well... If the death and hunger of their people do not make any difference to them,” Abed said.

Meanwhile, Gazan photojournalist, Motaz Azaiza, wrote about Hamas in March: “They do not need to make any difference to us. Cursed be everyone who trafficked in our blood, burned our hearts and homes, and ruined our lives.”

The true scale of dissent against Hamas in Gaza is hard to measure.

The latest survey carried out by West Bank-based think tank, the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research, suggests that most people in Gaza blame Israel for the war, not Hamas.

The survey from the think tank reported that nearly two-thirds of Gazans who responded to the questions were satisfied with Hamas - a rise of 12 points since December.

Around half of respondents said they would prefer Hamas to run Gaza after the war ends over any other option.

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