Slow Death of Gaza
The 2006 parliamentary election, which was the first democratic election held in the history of Palestine, was expected to bring stability to the country, while it has given way to a deepening crisis and current clashes.
Palestinians raised Hamas, which has contributed greatly to the resistance movement, to the power and chose it as the political leadership of Palestine; however, Israel, its Western supporters and certain Arab countries were shocked by the rise of a group they viewed hostile to the power. These parties cut relations with the Hamas government rather than negotiating with it and furthermore offered overt support to the opposition groups, widening the political differences within Palestine as it was in their interests. International actors have refused to recognize the Hamas government, which has been at power since 2006, and has employed practices such as suspending relations, imposing economic embargo, carrying out military operations and accepting the Fatah-controlled Palestinian presidency as an alternative government for one and half years. Foreign policies in support of two-headed Palestine have intensified the conflict among Palestinian groups and have engendered the risk of a civil war.
Out of the 1.5 million people crammed in Gaza, the most densely populated region in the world, 900,000 are refugees, which offer a favorable ground for political and social unrest. Finally in 2007, internal provocations and Israeli operations caused fierce fighting between Hamas and al-Fatah in the Gaza Strip, killing about 200 people. Ruling party Hamas disbanded Fatah-controlled armed units with the help of militants and seized the full control of Gaza. Although Hamas has centered its efforts on turning its de facto control into de jure sovereign Gaza came under a comprehensive blockade. The international community implemented all kinds of economic and political pressure mechanisms, opening the door of hard days for Gaza.