Bill Van Esveld, de Human Rights Watch, explica en el LA Times que el bloqueo de Gaza por parte de Israel (y Egipto) no es el único causante del sufrimiento de la sociedad palestina. Las políticas islamizantes del gobierno de Hamás también reprimen la libertad de los civiles palestinos.
As Human Rights Watch documented during a trip to Gaza in May, severe violations of personal freedom and repression of civil society groups that defend that freedom appear to be sharply on the rise. The Hamas government, trying to shore up its image as an Islamic reform movement in the face of challenges from more radical Islamist groups, is consolidating its social control by upping its efforts to "Islamize" Gaza.
A notorious example is the expanded role of Gaza's "morality police." Last summer, these black-uniformed police began to patrol the beaches to ensure that men and women are dressed "appropriately" — there is no written rule but a woman was punished for swimming in a T-shirt and jeans — and that unrelated men and women are not mingling. They make sure clothing stores display only modestly dressed female mannequins in their windows. They have enforced bans on women riding motorcycles and on male hairdressers working in women's hair salons. Couples walking down the street are routinely stopped, separated and questioned by plainclothes officers asking whether they're married. "You basically have to carry a copy of your marriage license on you at all times, or risk being humiliated," one young couple told us. And parents say their daughters are under pressure to dress more conservatively for school. (...)
The Gaza government, led by Ismail Haniyeh, is also reducing the infrastructure for a civil society, including organizations that defend personal freedoms. Internal Security Service officers closed down six organizations in Gaza City and Rafah, including a women's health society and the Woman and Child Development Assn. Hamas has denounced United Nations summer camps that allow boys and girls to play together, and set up competing gender-segregated camps.