Gaza Residents See Calm after Hamas Rout
RENEE MONTAGNE, host:
We turn now to Gaza to find out more about what people there are facing, now that Hamas is in control. Fadi Bakheet lives in Gaza and has been working as a translator for Western journalists. Hello.
Mr. FADI BAKHEET (Translator): Hello, hi.
MONTAGNE: Now, it's been a week since the Hamas takeover of Gaza. Give us a few details of what life is like.
Mr. BAKHEET: Well, I would say like the life is getting normalized now. The people are getting used to what's going on in Gaza. The people get to the market. Everything looks normal.
MONTAGNE: Do you feel safe?
Mr. BAKHEET: Now you can feel safe. Hamas spokesmen have said that we will be safe and they said so because they have done one thing; they have taken all the guns from the street (unintelligible) Gaza Strip, which is a good step that they've done. It looks safe.
MONTAGNE: It looks safe, you say.
Mr. BAKHEET: Yeah.
MONTAGNE: What about food and other necessities, medicine?
Mr. BAKHEET: Well, about food and medicine, the head of the U.N. in Gaza had projected that Gaza had enough food and medicine for two weeks. And it would be a crisis at the borders of Israel (unintelligible) open for the people to let in the basic needs of life and food and medicine for the people in Gaza. There would be a crisis here. But it is still safe - two weeks are more than - is not enough for the people to live a decent life.
MONTAGNE: During the fighting between Hamas and Fatah, what was it like for you?
Mr. BAKHEET: During the fighting it was a shock for all the Palestinian people because we have never thought like Palestinian brothers would fight against each other like this. But it was frightening, it was scary, it was, you can't describe it, it's unbelievable. We've been hiding in the homes. I got three shots in our home in the windows. So it's been crazy.
MONTAGNE: How do people there in Gaza feel about the Hamas takeover of the territory? Obviously, quite a few of them are behind Hamas, but quite a few are not.
Mr. BAKHEET: Yes, about the Gaza Strip (unintelligible) a lot of people - majority of the people here in Gaza support Hamas, that's for sure. And there's still a lot of people who support Fatah, but in that you still can't say that all Gaza is behind Hamas.
MONTAGNE: You can't say that.
Mr. BAKHEET: No, no, we can't say that all Gaza support Hamas or behind Hamas.
MONTAGNE: But people are, what, for the moment keeping quiet about that or laying low if they don't support Hamas?
Mr. BAKHEET: Well, the people here only care about now is what's the next move, what is going to be happened in the next couple of months, in the next couple weeks. That's what they care about, especially after our best speech and after what the Israelis are saying about (unintelligible) to Gaza.
MONTAGNE: Thank you very much for joining us.
Mr. BAKHEET: You're welcome. Thank you.
MONTAGNE: Fadi Bakheet is an English translator. He spoke to us from Gaza City.
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