Gaza Youth Call Hamas 'Medieval Gangsters, Thugs'

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Inspired by Tamarod, the grassroots movement in Egypt that played a key role in the recent ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, a Palestinian Arab youth group initiated a campaign against Hamas -- the Islamist faction ruling the Gaza Strip since the spring of 2007. 

The group produced a gutsy video in which they referred to the Islamist group as medieval gangsters and thugs who use torture, sabotage, smuggling and bribery to rule.

"Repression and tyranny have reached their peak and we can no longer remain silent," they say in the video. "The time has come to reject death under Hamas's security club."

"We won't ask you to leave because you are part of us," the video continues. "But you won't rule after November 11 even if you finish us off. All our options are open, except for using weapons. We are different from you.

"Unlike you, we don't use weapons against our brothers. Unlike you, we don't kill children, the elderly, women and youths. Unlike you, we don't destroy mosques. We will face you with our bare chests," they proclaim in the video.

The Gaza group said its membership includes people of "all colors and affiliations," Jerusalem Post Palestinian Affairs correspondent Khaled Abu Toameh reported.

Not unexpectedly, Hamas accused its rival, the Palestinian Authority's Fatah faction, of instigating the campaign against them.

"We are witnessing attempts by Fatah to instigate tensions in the Gaza Strip," Toameh quoted one Hamas official. "Our people, who threw Fatah out of the Gaza Strip, will not be deceived by this new conspiracy."

Hamas wrested control of the coastal enclave from P.A. security forces in a bloody military coup in June 2007.

In the ensuing six years, the Islamist group, an offshoot of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, has tightened its grip on the population, imposing Sharia law in schools, businesses and every part of life.

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