Last month, Muhsir Mutawakil, leader of Boycott of Palestinian Goods and Services (BPGS), blasted Hamas’ seizure of Gaza as “religious and gender apartheid” for women and Christians. In an attempt to punish the terrorist group, Mutawakil advocates a British boycott of all goods from the West Bank and Gaza.
Since Hamas’ violent coup in Gaza in June 2007, incidents of Hamas harassing Christians and forcing them to convert to Islam at gunpoint have occurred. Hamas has also sought to purge secular elements from Palestinian society by banning alcohol, Western music and movies, and requiring women to veil themselves in public. “Morality” police have harassed and intimated women to dress according to Hamas’ Islamist standards.
Mutawakil’s efforts to punish Hamas helps shed light on an important topic that has been willfully neglected by the media and academia: the ongoing internecine Palestinian conflict. For greater depth on intra-Palestinian violence, see Jonathan Schanzer’s new book, Hamas vs. Fatah: The Struggle for Palestine.