Hamas Brings Peace to Gaza —at Gunpoint

Civil army rules the streets with show of force, but no law
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 3, 2007 7:44 AM CDT
A Palestinian man stands by as police officers burn a pile of marijuana in a Gaza City compound Monday July 2, 2007. Police said they captured the drug from local dealers. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Two weeks of Hamas rule have brought calm to Gaza—beaches are crowded, streets are choked with cars and donkey carts—but it is order delivered at the point of a gun. The Executive Force, Hamas's civil army, has seized control, bringing overwhelming force to bear on drug-dealers and clan disputes, the Wall Street Journal reports. Even the traditional firing of guns into the air at weddings has been banned.

Gazans are grateful for the end of factional warfare, but anxious about the lack of law, and prospects for the future; Hamas has no evident means to pay government employees or insure the food supply. Especially unhappy are those being held in Gaza's jails, most of whom have not been charged, due to the lack of lawyers and judges.