“We are in control and we are the winner,” Hamas legislator Mushir al-Masri declared this week in Gaza, after attending the funeral of four Hamas gunmen.
More than 4,000 houses were destroyed and about 20,000 damaged in Gaza by the fighting with Israel, according to independent estimates.
Yet Hamas claims “victory” and passes out money to assure its story is believed.
After Israel pounded Hezbollah and southern Lebanon in 2006, Hezbollah passed out money and assistance in the effort to rebuild structures and loyalty.
Now Hamas is following that model: an Iranian written and funded script.
But Hamas is having a tougher time than Hezbollah.
Hamas and Fatah are in disagreement on everything in Gaza.
Hamas is accusing rival Palestinian faction Fatah of spying for Israel and not strongly enough supporting Hamas in the fight against the “Zionists.”
Fatah says Hamas relied too much on Iran for strategy and arms, irresponsibly goaded Isreal into a war with their rocket attacks on Israel, and botched the defense of the Gazan people.
But now money from Iran to Hamas may rebuild Gaza and loyalty to Hamas.
Peace and Freedom
By KARIN LAUB, Associated Press Writer
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – Beardedactivists on Friday delivered an envelope with five crisp $100 bills to a veiled woman whose house was damaged during Israel’s invasion of , the first of promised relief payments by the militant group.
In another part of the territory, a bulldozer cleared rubble and filled in a bomb crater where a week before a top Hamas leader had been killed in an Israeli air strike.
Since a truce took hold this week, ending Israel‘s three-week onslaught, Gaza’s Hamas rulers have declared victory and gone out of their way to show they are in control.
They have pledged $52 million of the group’s funds to help repair lives, the money divvied up by category. The veiled woman received emergency relief money for her two-story home in the northern town of Beit Lahiya.
Hamas, which is believed to be funded by donations from the Muslim world and Iran, said the emergency relief would include $1,300 for a death in the family, $650 for an injury, $5,200 for a destroyed house and $2,600 for a damaged house.