July 31, 2023 | Flash Brief

Palestinians in Gaza Protest Hamas Rule, Rising Cost of Living  

July 31, 2023 | Flash Brief

Palestinians in Gaza Protest Hamas Rule, Rising Cost of Living  

Latest Developments 

Thousands of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip took to the streets on July 30 to protest economic hardship under Hamas rule. This public expression of discontentment constitutes a rare occurrence and signals a growing dissatisfaction with Hamas’ ability to provide the basic needs of Palestinians in Gaza. Hamas security forces reportedly arrested and injured Palestinians attending the rallies. According to the Associated Press, the protests are organized by a grassroots online movement called “the mocking virus.” Additional protests are slated for August 4. 

Expert Analysis 

“Terrorist groups are notoriously bad at governance. Hamas is no different. The people of Gaza have been suffering terribly under Hamas rule since 2007. What is remarkable here is that we do not see protests of this nature more often.” — Jonathan Schanzer, FDD Senior Vice President for Research 

“Hamas has historically exhibited minimal tolerance for dissent toward its rule and has responded harshly to such acts of protest. Despite past acts of violence against demonstrators, Palestinians are voicing their anger against Hamas corruption and demanding better living conditions.” — Joe Truzman, Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal 

A Series of Tax Hikes Imposed by Hamas 

Over the past four years, Hamas has imposed a series of tax hikes, compounding Gazans’ economic hardship. In March 2023, Hamas implemented new tariffs on the import of fruit and the export of fish. However, Hamas later revoked the tariff on fruit when traders protested it by going on strike.  

In July 2022, Hamas imposed a tax increase on imported clothes and office supplies. In May 2022, the Hamas Finance Ministry imposed a 16.5 percent tax on 24 products imported from the West Bank into Gaza, including bottled mineral water, entertainment items, and soft drinks. These taxes remain in force today. 

In March 2019, Palestinians in Gaza demonstrated against Hamas to reverse additional taxes imposed on basic products, including food. Hamas security forces responded by physically assaulting them, conducting home invasions, and apprehending around a thousand individuals, including organizers, journalists, and individual protesters. 

Israel Green-Lights Gaza Offshore Gas Development,” FDD Flash Brief 

Qatar Is Hamas’ Patron. Its ‘Moderate’ Rebranding Is a Dangerous Delusion,” by Hussain Abdul- Hussain 


Palestinian Politics