The streets are quiet now and the electricity works most of the time. Crime is down and even weapons smuggling is at least being regulated. But four months after Hamas seized control of Gaza, the already precarious economy has been sent into a tailspin as the militant Islamic group reigns over a pariah state.
Although Hamas’ claims that its June takeover has brought peace and order to Gaza bear some credence, its four-day military rout of the Fatah faction has ushered in an abysmal new chapter for the 1.5 million people crowded into this impoverished coastal sliver.
Now more than ever, Gaza is besieged: from the outside by economic sanctions and from the inside by a continuing battle of wills between Hamas and Fatah loyalists. [complete article]