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Morning / afternoon / evening, Peter here with news of todays BBC World Have Your Say — 1800 GMT ).Today we were going to ask if life was better in Gaza because of Hamas, but given the events that I’m outlining below, we think the question should be more like this: IS IS TIME TO GET RID OF HAMAS ? The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, has just called for Hamas to be ousted from the Gaza strip. Mr Abbas said that Hamas – which seized the territory in June from his Fatah movement – should be removed by force. This is the first time the Palestinian president has called explicitly for the removal of Hamas, previously saying it should apologise for taking over Gaza and return it to Fatah control. The comments by the Palestinian leader come days after the killing of seven Fatah supporters during a rally in Gaza.
That march by some 250,000 Gazans was the biggest challenge to Hamas since they took over Gaza. Discontent is growing, in part because of Israel’s closure of Gaza’s borders, in response to the Hamas takeover, shut down many factories, cost tens of thousands of jobs and it’s driven up prices. And yesterday Hamas clamped down on journalists reporting in the territory. So the people of Gaza are angry, not just with Hamas but also with Isreal. What do you think ?
IS PRESIDENT ABBAS RIGHT – SHOULD HAMAS BE OUSTED ?
Who’s to blame here — Hamas or Fatah, or both ? Would it be logical to ignore Hamas because it’s an elected government — even though it’s becoming less popular by the week ? Where does Hamas see this going – or to put it another way, does Hamas have an end point which involves primarily the people, and not some brand of political dogma ? Or could it be that the people of Gaza have now got to the stage where they don’t care who’s in power, they don’t care about power-struggles — all they want is a better life ?
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Later, Peter )
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