Conflict between Hamas and Fattah reaches into services sectors By Omar Shaban
Recently, the conflict between PA in Ramallah and Hams in Gaza entered into areas which are the education and the health sectors. Tow weeks before the commencement of the schooling season which started late August, Hamas made huge transfer of teachers and school administrators which pushed the teachers to go into strike… The syndicate of school teachers which is based in Ramallah asked the teachers to reject Hamas decisions of transferring and they were asked by the syndicate not to go to their work destinations. Hamas replaced some of the teachers who did not come to the work. Hamas accused PA in Ramallah of corrupting the education sector while the PA in Ramallah accused Hamas that it wants to dominate the educations sector. Bearing in mind that the Gaza-based employees in the education and health sectors, like others sectors are paid their salaries by Ramallah government although they are under Hamas-led government. There are 23,000 teachers and administrators in the educations sector in Gaza who are paid by PA in Ramallah which means that replacing them will be too costly for Hamas to handle. Surprisingly hamas managed to replace every teacher did not attend to his work, a step that made the students to feel strangers in their schools. Furthermore there is some news that PA in Ramallah will ask the workers in welfare sector go into strike by the end of the holy month of Ramadan. PA in Ramallah aim to make Hamas’ job too difficult to be handled. People in the Gaza Strip have found themselves again in the middle of a battle with-which they have no relation. Doctors, nurses, pharmacists and lab. Technicians all announced the strike stayed at their homes. All health facilities in the Gaza Strip stopped on the morning of Sunday except the top urgent operations other medical services were not attainable to the population. Some cases reported dead due to the lack of emergency services. Talks between the de facto government and health sector employees were blocked. As a result Hamas announced that every employee who will go on strike will be replaced. A decision that was put in place by the second day of the strike. Another important link between Gaza and West Bank was lost. More over the Ministry of Interior in Gaza declared the closure of each private clinic, pharmacy or laboratory owned by one of those on strike. Worth to mention that during the past year the de-facto government in Gaza changed the employees in the influential positions in the ministry of health. Why this time in particular? People think that Ramallah government who realizes very well the burden of these 2 ministries wanted to embarrass Hamas in one hand and affect the daily life of the population pushing them again in the middle. People think that Ramallah is jeopardizing the lives of Gazans for the dirty political games. Again the Gazans see Ramallah government is taking a stupid decision affecting its popularity. Also the reaction of Gaza government to put inexperienced people in sensitive positions make it loses. Some incidents reported that 10 years female students were asked by their newly appointed teachers to cover their heads. This indicate that Hamas will try to turn this crisis into opportunity by creating more supports within the two sectors and spreading its ideology into the mind f the students especially tengers and children. To conclude Hamas was shocked by the burden and the unexpected strike of the most important ministries, however hamas will not admit that they failed and will try to fill in the gap to show that they are capable to phase any problem. This will lead in the medium term that hamas will be fully in charge of these 2 sectors. Taking into consideration the affect of those 2 sectors to the daily lives of the population will give hamas the opportunity to work on the coming elections. It is not very difficult to expect the influence of Hamas teachers on the primary and preparatory schools. Baring in mind that PA in Ramallah and Fatah not only lost their political presence in Gaza they also lost the presence in the civil society when Hamas took over 160 NGOs in mid July and now they are voluntary loosing health and education.