A homegrown popular movement is organizing to challenge Gaza’s rulers while Fatah is also reportedly waiting for an opportunity to pounce on them.
The movement in question, Tamarrod (named after Egypt’s own successful Tamarrod), blames Hamas, even more than Israel, for the plight of Gaza’s population. However, the group has little experience organizing and there is no force in Gaza that could take on a role similar to that played by the Egyptian army. The movement has been organizing primarily online and has a decentralized leadership structure. A rally planned for November 11 was cancelled under massive pressure from Hamas, whose police arrested opposition activists and journalists. But then again, a subsequent military parade by Hamas commemorating last year’s brief war with Israel also failed to mobilize popular support in the strip.
Hamas is clearly nervous, as attested by a massive recent campaign to identify and intimidate members of Tamarrod, to interrogate a wide range of dissidents, and to tap social networking sites. Although Palestine’s Tamarrod is not likely to bring down Hamas, it has been able to draw strength from popular discontent. There are rumors that other movements could follow in Tamarrod’s footsteps, putting additional pressure on Hamas, while providing an outlet through which Gazans can voice their discontent and counter their government’s repressive techniques.