On Wednesday, April 28, the PFLP released an open letter decrying Hamas’s economic measures in Gaza. These include cigarettes taxes and, prospectively, taxes on taxis that taxi-drivers can’t possibly afford. The PFLP said that Hamas’s repression risks inciting a potential “social rebellion.”
The DFLP called for peaceful rallies against these policies. In partial reaction, the government arrested several members of the PFLP. They also deployed police officers at a leftist May Day march in Beit Hanoun. Yesterday, Ismail Haniyeh distributed 2.5 million dollars to 25,000 laborers as proof “against recent allegations that Hamas officials were imposing harsh tax-laws.”
 “We take money from the rich to give the poor not vise versa,” the Gaza leader said, noting “nature of the taxes that are imposed by the government are [that they are] little and not heavy.” The people may feel a bit differently.

Later on that evening, here is what one ex-PFLP member told me, speaking about the Salafiis:

They are soft. When they are captured by the Israelis, they speak instantly, they don’t resist. PF, it is taboo to speak. I know people who were tortured for four or six months, and they did not speak. That is the PFLP code.
A Salafi man from the community near [the community center he runs] came and spoke badly about the work we are doing. I told him, look to the Koran. We teach children about Palestinian culture. Does the Koran forbid that?
We teach women how to make tasty food from basic staples. Does the Koran forbid that? Show me the verse. I told him, you think you are not afraid of death because you will be closer to Allah after death. The PFLP has an idea, too, and it is stronger than Allah, and we, too, do not fear death and we will fight for our idea, and we will die for it. The Salafi man backed off. They are weak.

Technorati Tags: Arab socialism, DFLP, Gaza, May Day, Palestine, Palestinian socialism, PFLP
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