York politics professor condemns Gaza violence

Professor Haleh Afshar, OBE, politics lecturer at York, has called developments in the Gaza strip “atrocious”.

Hamas, the Islamic party that won the Palestinian elections in 2006, has driven members of the opposing secular party Fatah out of the Gaza strip by force, executing its leaders, and capturing government offices.

Professor Afshar, originally from Iran, condemned the West for “supporting Fatah by supplying it with weapons and refusing to talk to Hamas, despite it having democratically won the elections.”

Many analysts, including Professor Afshar, who “is heart-broken at having been proven right”, had predicted this development. Fatah and Hamas had agreed to a national unity government earlier this year, but battles between the armed wings of the two parties continued in the streets of Gaza.

An explosion on June 9 which killed eight Palestinians is thought to have pushed Hamas into breaking the ceasefire and take over the Gaza strip. Hamas leaders, who do not recognise the Israeli state, have declared Islamic rule in Gaza, but have recently given signs of being open to negotiation.

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