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10 Years After Gaza Takeover, Hamas Under Pressure To Surrender Power

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Nael Skaik, the pharmacy director at Gaza’s main hospital, says this medicine storage room is usually so full of boxes of medicines that it’s hard to find space to walk. Now medicines are running out as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has held up medicine shipments to Gaza to pressure Gaza’s Hamas leaders to surrender power. Daniel Estrin/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Daniel Estrin/NPR

Ten years ago this summer, the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas staged a coup, ousted members of the rival Fatah party and took over the Gaza Strip.

It felt it took what it deserved: Hamas had won the majority of seats in the 2006 Palestinian legislative elections, but Hamas and Fatah couldn’t work out how to share power.

It led to gun battles. A 29-year-old man saw his cousin, a Fatah border guard in training, get shot in a fight with Hamas gunmen in one of the many battles that led to the coup. The man is afraid to be identified — even a decade later.

“The darkest 10 years of my life” is how he summarized his life since Hamas took over Gaza.

It’s been a

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