Archive for the ‘Hamas and human rights in Gaza’ category

UN Amb. Haley Walks Out On Palestinian When He Blames Israel for Gaza Violence

May 17, 2018

by Shifra on May 16, 2018 Live Wire

Source Link: UN Amb. Haley Walks Out On Palestinian When He Blames Israel for Gaza Violence

{Of course, Hamas had nothing to do with it…right? – LS}

Remember when Obama’s Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, stood up for Israel?

Yeah, neither to I.

But I do remember her ignoring the deaths of thousands of innocent Syrians, and kicking Israel in the teeth.

Brava to Nikki Haley for standing up for the truth… and walking out when the anti-Israel haters began spewing their lies.

And shame on the MSM for their anti-Israel biased reporting, which served to score Hamas a big propaganda “win.”

Via Daily Caller.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley had a simple response Tuesday when Palestine’s Ambassador to the UN blamed Israel for the recent violence in Gaza.

Walk out.

Haley stood up and walked out of the UN Security Council meeting room when Palestinian Ambassador Riyad H. Mansour began his remarks. Tensions were high in the Security Council after nearly sixty Palestinian protesters were killed by Israeli forces Monday during rioting on the Gaza border.

Protesters stormed the Israeli border, armed with slingshots, rocks and Molotov cocktails. The protests were in response to the opening of the new US embassy in Jerusalem.

Haley told the emergency Security Council meeting, “No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has. In fact the records of several countries here today suggest they would be much less restrained.”….

As Gaza hospitals suffer shortages, Hamas refuses Israeli medical aid

May 16, 2018


The Israeli army prepares a shipment of medical supplies for the Gaza Strip on May 15, 2018. The Hamas terrorist group, which rules the coastal enclave, later refused to accept the equipment and sent it back.

Two trucks of supplies from the IDF entered the Strip but were returned after ruling terror group saw they were from Israel

By Judah Ari Gross and AP Times of Israel

Source Link: As Gaza hospitals suffer shortages, Hamas refuses Israeli medical aid

{Question: How many Palestinians does it take to screw in a light bulb?  Answer: None….they would rather sit in the dark and blame Israel. – LS}

The Hamas terrorist group on Wednesday refused to accept two shipments of medical supplies for Gaza hospitals, which are struggling with shortages, after seeing they were sent by Israel, Israel’s military liaison to the Palestinians said.

On Tuesday, Israel facilitated the entrance of eight trucks full of medical equipment into the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom Crossing, which reopened earlier that day after it was burned by Palestinian rioters last Friday.

Four of the shipments were from the Palestinian Authority, two from the United Nations Children’s Fund and two were provided by the Israel Defense Forces’ Technological and Logistics Directorate.

According to Israel, the IDF shipments included IV fluids, bandages, pediatric equipment and disinfectants, as well as fuel for hospital generators.

However, on Wednesday morning, after the trucks passed through the crossing, Hamas officials saw that the two shipments from Israel had labels identifying them as coming from the IDF and sent them back, according to the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories liaison unit.

“Hamas officials checked the trucks, saw that there were IDF stickers on the medications and said they were not prepared to accept medicine with IDF labels on it,” said a COGAT spokesperson.

The six shipments from the PA and UNICEF were accepted.

The Hamas-led organizers of the Palestinian protests along the Gaza border confirmed that they would not accept medicine “from the murderers of our people,” despite the widespread shortages of medical supplies in the coastal enclave.

The terrorist group accused Israel of “trying to improve its black image” by sending the humanitarian aid.

In the wake of mass riots Monday on the Gaza border, already strained hospitals in the beleaguered coastal enclave have struggled to provide treatment to the more than 1,500 patients that the Hamas-run health ministry says were injured in the clashes.

According to the Hamas ministry, 60 Palestinians were killed along the border on Monday, including several Hamas members who were shot dead in direct clashes with IDF soldiers.

In total, Israeli security forces have identified at least 24 of the people killed as known members of terrorist groups, mainly Hamas and the Iran-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Israel has not put out its own official death toll, but some have questioned the accuracy of the Hamas-provided figure. For instance, a Gazan doctor told the Associated Press that an 8-month-old baby, who the Gaza ministry said died after inhaling Israeli tear gas on Monday, had a preexisting medical condition and that he did not believe her death was caused by tear gas.

Even before the latest round of bloodshed, Gaza’s health system of 13 public hospitals and 14 clinics run by NGOs had been buckling under persistent blockade-linked shortages of medicines and surgical supplies.

According to the IDF, the two trucks that were turned away contained thousands of units of IV fluid, beds, hospital gowns, IV fluid stands, thousands of bandages and thousands of units of antiseptic chemicals.

“Hamas basically said it would rather get no equipment than get aid from Israel,” the COGAT official said.

On Tuesday, Palestinian officials also refused to allow trucks loaded with goods into the Gaza Strip through the newly reopened Kerem Shalom Crossing.

Shipments of medical supplies, food and diapers arrived at the crossing on Tuesday morning. But officials on the Palestinian side said they could only allow through the medical supplies and sent back 14 trucks full of food and diapers, The Times of Israel learned.

It was not immediately clear why the border officials, who are employed by the Palestinian Authority, would not accept the shipments.

Israel had closed the crossing late last week in order to assess and repair significant damage caused by rioters there last Friday evening.

On Monday night — hours after Gazans again ransacked the facility — the army announced that Israel would be reopening Kerem Shalom on Tuesday.

“Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman approved the recommendation of the Israel Defense Forces and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) to reopen the Kerem Shalom Crossing tomorrow,” the army said in a statement.

The crossing, near the Egyptian border, serves as the main entry point for commercial goods and humanitarian aid into the coastal enclave, which has been subject to a strict blockade by both Israel and Egypt for the past 11 years that is meant to prevent terrorist groups from bringing weapons into the Strip.

While the crossing reopened on Tuesday, it will only be able to function at a partial capacity in light of substantial damage caused to the facility, including to the fuel lines — the only way to bring diesel and gasoline into Gaza in significant quantities.

Palestinian rioters set fire to the Gaza Strip’s Kerem Shalom Crossing on May 14, 2018. (Israel Defense Forces)

On Sunday night, the United Nations said an alternative way of getting fuel to Gaza must be found urgently, warning of dwindling supplies needed to run hospitals, pick up garbage, pump water and treat sewage.

Palestinian rioters ransacked the crossing for the third time in two weeks on Monday, toward the end of the violent mass protests along the border, the army said.

The Israel Defense Forces said around 40,000 Gazans participated in “unprecedentedly” violent riots along the security fence on Monday. The protests, which Israel said were spurred by Hamas seeking to carry out terror attacks, saw multiple cases of shots fired at Israeli troops and several unsuccessful attempts to breach the border.

IDF soldiers responded with tear gas and, in some cases, live fire. Israel faced immediate international backlash and accusations of excessive force. The army maintains that its soldiers adhered to rigidly defined rules of engagement and only used live rounds as a last resort.

Rioters first attacked the crossing on May 4. They broke through the gates and, apparently believing they were in Israeli territory, set fire to the fuel lines, according to Israeli officials. In actuality, they were on the Palestinian side of the crossing.

One week later, another group of some 200 people broke into the Palestinian side of the crossing, following that day’s border protests.

However, according to Israeli officials, the Hamas terrorist group directed this attack on the crossing. Its operatives instructed rioters “what to do, where to go,” a senior COGAT officer told reporters on Sunday.

The rioters again set fire to the fuel terminal. They also torched a specially designed conveyor belt used to bring raw construction material into Gaza and wrecked two other conveyor belts used to transport animal feed.

Israeli and Palestinian officials estimate that it will take at least several weeks to bring the fuel lines and conveyor belts back online.

 

How Hamas Sabotages Gaza’s Economy to Advance Terror Aims

May 16, 2018

by Yaakov Lappin May 15, 2018 The Investigative Project on Terrorism

Source Link: How Hamas Sabotages Gaza’s Economy to Advance Terror Aims

{Reality check. – LS}

Gaza’s dire economic situation is one reason observers cite for the ongoing violent Palestinian protests at the border with Israel. But, Israeli officials say, the blame for the stark economic reality lies with those who control Gaza.

Israel is working hard to prevent the economy of Gaza from collapsing, but Hamas is doing just the opposite, recklessly harming the economic situation of the very people it rules over.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in Friday’s Hamas-orchestrated attack on a gas and fuel terminal – the only one that supplies the Gaza Strip – at the Kerem Shalom border crossing.

According to senior Israeli defense officials, Hamas operatives divided rioters into groups and gave them specific instructions on which part of the crossing to attack on the Gazan side – the same side that serves the basic needs of Gaza’s estimated 1.8 million inhabitants.

In what can only be described as utter self-destruction, the rioters, acting on Hamas orders, set fire to a pipeline delivering gas and fuel to Gazans. They also destroyed conveyer belts that send construction material and animal feed into Gaza. The crossing was attacked twice more since then, including during Monday’s mass border infiltration attempt, also organized by Hamas, which resulted in many Palestinian casualties a significant portion of whom were operatives in Hamas or the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

It will take months for authorities to repair the burned out fuel pipelines. The pipes blazed so hot that they left the concrete roads beneath them in pieces. The Palestinian Authority (PA) had previously constructed the Gazan side of the fuel terminal at a cost of ten mission shekels. Now, the PA will have to decide if it will pay for a new one.

All of this means that the people of Gaza are facing a new, Hamas-engineered, imminent fuel and energy crisis.

The incident is just one of many ways that Hamas cynically and actively harms Gaza’s civilian interests for its own benefit.

Hamas has a financial interest in shutting down Kerem Shalom, since all goods that pass through it are taxed by the PA – Hamas’s bitter rival. Hamas would prefer that goods pass through the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt, where taxes go directly to the Hamas regime, and the funds are diverted to the military wing.

But Egypt keeps Rafah closed most days as part of its own blockade of Gaza. Egypt is guided by a deep suspicion of Hamas’s intentions, due to the affiliation between Hamas and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.

Ultimately, Hamas is keen to increase pressure on ordinary Gazans, so that they vent their frustration on Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

In recent days, Hamas has banned Gazan fishermen from heading out to sea, despite Israel widening the Mediterranean Sea fishing zone for Palestinians.

According to Israeli defense officials, Hamas has also systematically prevented Palestinian businesspeople and merchants from crossing into Israel via the Erez pedestrian border crossing.

Israel has provided an increasing number of entry permits to Gazan businesspeople in a bid to encourage Palestinian economic growth. Yet Hamas has thwarted this effort via a checkpoint it has set up before the Erez Crossing.

“As long as people suffer, they can continue with their well-funded propaganda, and shout to the world, ‘come and save us,’ and ‘pour some money into Gaza,'” said a senior IDF official.

The reason Hamas pursues this agenda is simple enough. Whenever it receives money, it must always face the basic question of where to invest it. If it invests in civilian needs, it cannot use that same money for the military wing: to dig tunnels, manufacture rockets, and build weapons, and prepare for war with Israel. So Hamas tries blackmailing the international community into funding Hamas’s humanitarian and economic needs, which would free Hamas to invest purely in its military force build-up.

This situation has not, however, stopped Israel from taking determined steps to improve the Gazan economy. Israel increased the number of pedestrian crossings at Erez by 30 percent in the first quarter of 2018, and most of those crossing – 80 percent of the roughly 10,000 crossings – are made up of Gazan merchants and businesspeople.

The Palestinian Authority is also undermining Gaza’s economy as part of a bid to bring Hamas to its knees and force it into a reconciliation agreement that would see the armed wing disbanded. As part of that pressure, the PA has ceased transferring medicine into Gaza, and has been holding up permits for a number of sick Gazans to travel to West Bank hospitals for treatment.

In response, Israel increased the number of medical-humanitarian journeys from Gaza into Israel, coordinating the movement of 450 ambulances to Israeli hospitals during the past three months alone.

Meanwhile, Hamas continues attempting to use the mail to import items such as drones, uniforms, and dual use items like drills and building materials for its military wing. The Israeli Defense Ministry has intercepted magazine clips, binoculars, and even military boots sewn into large slippers heading into Gaza.

“One of our main challenges is that we have hard, solid intelligence that Hamas is trying to use any humanitarian route to build up its military power, and promote terrorism,” the senior defense source added.

One prominent example of this occurred in April, the official said, when a 65-year-old Gazan woman was given a permit to receive medical treatment at an Israeli hospital. The woman, a cancer patient, arrived at Erez Crossing, where Israeli security found enough explosives in her belongings to blow up four buses.

Israel remains determined to keep Gaza’s economy going and prevent a collapse. It has recently allowed more dual use materials – items intended for civilian use, but which Hamas could use for military means as well to enter the Strip, to assist the civilian population. It also approved 350 new economic projects in Gaza that provide jobs for Palestinians.

Still, the challenge remains. Pipes imported for water treatment plants end up being turned into rockets. Generators designed to help civilian buildings deal with power shortages end up in terror tunnels that are dug in the direction of Israeli communities.

Perhaps the most cynical example of all can be found in the form of medical oxygen tanks that Israel sends to Gaza. “Unfortunately,” the defense source said, “Hamas seized some of these shipments and took them underground, so that [combat] tunnel diggers can breathe freely as they work in tunnels 30 meters underground.”

Articles In Gulf Press: The Escalation In Gaza – A Result Of Qatar, Iran, Turkey Toying With Lives Of Innocent Palestinians

June 28, 2017

Articles In Gulf Press: The Escalation In Gaza – A Result Of Qatar, Iran, Turkey Toying With Lives Of Innocent Palestinians, MEMRI, June 28, 2017

Following the June 27, 2017 Israeli airstrikes in Gaza in response to the firing of a rocket from Gaza into Israel, articles in the Gulf press attacked Hamas and the countries that support it: Qatar, Iran and Turkey. The articles – published against the backdrop of the inter-Gulf tension and the Boycott imposed on Qatar, chiefly by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt – blamed Hamas of the firing of the rocket into Israel, and claimed that it was escalating the situation in Gaza on purpose in order to serve the interests of its three patron countries. These countries, said the articles, place innocent Palestinians in danger in order to divert global attention away from the Gulf crisis. 

The following are excerpts from two articles on this topic:   

‘Al-Ittihad’ Editorial: Qatar, Iran, Turkey Use Gaza As Bargaining Chip, Toying With The Lives Of Its Innocent People

Muhammad Al-Hamadi, editor of the UAE daily Al-Ittihad, wrote: “On June 27, without any warning, the Arabs woke up to discover that Gaza had been bombarded. Why? What has happened that we don’t know about? What did the Gazan Palestinians do to find themselves under Israeli fire? Has a third intifada broken out? Has the battle for the liberation of Jerusalem begun?

“In practice, none [of the above] happened. All [that happened was] that those who trade in the Palestinian problem, who are themselves in trouble, remembered an old bargaining chip that they have long been using successfully, [and decided] to use it in the dire circumstances that have befallen their friend Qatar, which serves as their open bank [account]. They thought that [using this bargaining chip] would be a good way to divert the Arabs’ attention away from Qatar and focus it [instead] on Gaza and its residents who are being bombarded with missiles by the Israeli enemy.

“This conduct of Qatar and its allies, in Palestine and elsewhere, is despicable. How disgraceful it is that some are willing to toy with the lives of innocents and with the future of small children in Gaza in order to achieve political aims. For a long time now, some [elements] – chiefly Iran, Qatar and Turkey – have been toying with the Palestinian cause and they were successful, but the cost was high: hundreds and even thousands of innocent Palestinians who have been martyred or wounded and crippled. What was the [Palestinian’s] reward? The reward was a donation drive among Arab and Muslim countries that raised millions. [But only] a handful of riyals and dinars was handed out to the disaster-stricken Palestinians. It is always the case that the [Gazan] people get crumbs, while the rest goes to the loyal partner, Hamas.

“We have said from the beginning of the boycott of Qatar that the game is over, but Qatar apparently isn’t listening. Continuing this transparently [wicked] behavior will no longer avail [it], because the peoples are no longer fooled. If in the past they trusted the propaganda of the ideologically recruited Al-Jazeera channel, which serves certain goals, today the peoples no longer watch Al-Jazeera and are no longer influenced by it and by other Arab or foreign channels. Information has become very accessible, and [cyber]space has opened up in [this] era of new media. Nobody has a monopoly on the facts, and it is no longer possible to deceive the peoples. That is what the Palestinian people discovered on July 27. It discovered that there are those who want to exploit it and drag it into a new confrontation with the Israeli enemy, while those who plan [the confrontation] stay in five-star hotels in Doha and Istanbul and in other capitals that shelter the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and of terror.

“Our friends in Gaza informed us that the [Gaza] Strip was not bombarded and that only two Israeli missiles were fired in response to the rocket fired from Gaza into Israel. Everyone knows that Qatar is the one that is ‘bombarded’ and boycotted. Who gains from the firing of the rocket and from the situation in which Gaza is bombarded?”[i]

Saudi Columnist: Qatar, Iran Sponsor Hamas, Which Uses Gazans As Human Shields

Hani Al-Zahiri wrote in the Saudi ‘Okaz daily: “It has been centuries since our region has seen a political gamble as terrible as the Iranian and Qatari regimes’ [current] gamble with the lives and the cause of the Palestinians. These two [regimes] adopted the Muslim Brotherhood’s Hamas organization, and supported it by every means when it staged an uprising against the legal Palestinian leadership [the PA] and took over Gaza, and then turned the innocent residents [of Gaza] into a human shield for the Hamas leadership.

“The state of the Gaza Strip in the face of the Israeli bombardments, which usually come in direct response to Hamas actions, reminds us of  [a situation in which] a man kidnaps a girl and then provokes [the soldiers in] a military base to open fire on him and uses the girl as a human shield. The kidnapper in this case is Hamas and the girl is Gaza and its helpless people. The portly Hamas leaders meet in Doha and Tehran, laugh around tables laden with delicacies and order their young [fighters] to open the gates of Hell to the Palestinians by [shooting] firecrackers – which they call ‘rockets’ – at Israeli [army] posts, so that Gaza will be bombarded and women, children and the elderly will die. Then Hamas [officials] will come out, condemn this on satellite channels, and demand support and funds to rescue the Palestinian people, before going back to their feast, safe and sound. In the meantime the entire world will watch the suffering of an unarmed people that has no means to defend itself.

“Everything that has happened to the Palestinians since Hamas took over them indicates that their second enemy, after Israel, is Qatar and Iran, which are using a tinderbox named Hamas to burn them in order to achieve purely political aims… The question now is why, on the day before yesterday [June 26], Qatar and its allies prompted Hamas to fire on Israeli positions, thus inviting Israel to respond by bombarding Gaza. The answer is clearly that this was a despicable attempt and a new political gamble by the Qatari regime, aimed at easing the noose of the Gulf boycott [of Qatar, a boycott] which prompted calls to sue [this regime] in the international [court] for the black [crime] of supporting terror. Today [Qatar] desperately needs to divert the world’s attention in another direction, even at the expense of the life and blood of a defenseless people… The Qataris and Iranians will exploit the event to utter phrases of pretended sympathy for the Palestinians, but only the people in Gaza know that they are the victims of this pair of plotters [Qatar and Iran].”[ii]

______________________

[i] Al-Ittihad (UAE), June 28, 2017.

[ii] ‘Okaz (Saudi Arabia), June 28, 2017.

Suffering to Purchase Sympathy

June 25, 2017

Suffering to Purchase Sympathy, Clarion ProjectElliot Friedland, June 25, 2017

(Please see also, Illuminating Gaza, which suggests satirically that Hamas relinquish some of its weapons for electricity:

For example, what if Israel agreed to provide Hamas with 2 MWh for every stockpiled Qassam rocket turned over to us? They have thousands of these, which could keep the lights on for weeks. Not to mention longer-range rockets, which would be worth more. And tunnels – I’m sure we would be happy to give them a whole day’s worth of electricity for the precise location of a terror tunnel. Just give us the coordinates and we’ll do the rest! Anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons are valuable, too. A nice shoulder-fired SAM is probably worth 10 MWh. Even rifles and mortar shells could help keep the juice flowing.

— DM)

Hamas fighters in Gaza. (Photo by Abid Katib/Getty Images)

The choices made by Palestinian leaders are deliberately spurring on a crisis over electricity for their own benefit, with Palestinians as the victims.

Here’s the crisis explained in brief:

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, himself a dictator (since he cancelled elections after becoming president in 2005) has informed Israel that he will no longer pay for electricity to Gaza. He made the decision because Hamas is unable to pay for its electricity anymore.

This electricity is provided on behalf of the Palestinian Authority to Gaza by the Israeli electric company. Abbas asked Israel to cut power to the Gaza Strip since he decided not to foot the bill. Israel complied, reducing electricity supply by 40 percent.

News of the cuts spread internationally. Since Gaza consists of a small area where two million people live, a humanitarian disaster is in the making. Gaza’s power plant has already been shut down since April, again because of unpaid bills by Hamas, so the territory already only had power for around four hours a day.

Egypt stepped in on Thursday to ease the crisis, sending one million liters of fuel to restart Gaza’s power plant.

However this measure is only a temporary stop gap measure, and the crisis will reemerge when the fuel is used up.

What Does This Have to Do With Anything?

Gaza’s electricity crisis is symptomatic of a broader policy of Islamist terror factions, in general, and Hamas, in particular. Understanding and refusing to engage in this manipulative cycle is essential to defeating these groups and essential for ending the cycle of deprivation hitting those living in areas controlled by jihadis.

How does the cycle work? It can be loosely broken up into three stages:

1.Spend all the money on terrorism.

Hamas collects 100 million shekels ($29,000,000) a year in taxes from residents in Gaza. It has also been given hundreds of million dollars in international aid for reconstruction and humanitarian assistance. Yet, this year, Israel’s security services arrested Muhammad Murtaja, the head of the Gaza branch of the Turkish charity IHH, for siphoning off aid money for terror purposes.

“The egotistical Hamas terror organization has robbed funds that are meant for the needy of Gaza from international organizations. Hamas prospers at the expense of the residents of the Strip and uses donations meant for them to finance terror,” Major General Yoav Mordechai, coordinator of government activities in the territories said of the arrests.

Nor is this case isolated. In 2016, Israel arrested Waheed al Borsh, an engineer working for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), for stealing aid money to build a jetty for Hamas’ naval forces.

More egregiously the manager of international charity World Vision has been charged with funneling at least $43 million earmarked for international aid to Hamas’ military wing to pay for fighters and weapons.

As the independent think tank the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies notes, “According to the budget and expenditures for the 2013 fiscal year released by the last official Hamas government in 2014, a mere 2% of total expenditures of $348 million went to development and only 11.2% to social welfare transfers (compared to 25% in Egypt, which has a similar socio-economic profile). The rival PA estimates that over two-thirds of Hamas expenditures went to the production of terror.”

Spending in this way harms the inhabitants of Gaza. This, however, is a win for Hamas, because …

2.Manipulate the Ensuing Humanitarian Crisis

It’s important to note that the humanitarian crisis is real. According to Israel itself, in addition to the blackouts, 96% of Gaza’s water is reportedly not fit for drinking, due to the strain on the aquifers. There are widespread shortages. Unemployment is at 42%.

At this stage, Hamas’ goal is now to use these crises to extract concessions from Israel and malign Israel in the international press.

During the recent electricity crisis, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri thundered that Israel “bears responsibility for the consequences of the reduction.”

“Israel is trying to cause a humanitarian crisis in Gaza to oust Hamas,” accused Vice, in an incredibly misleading headline, despite the fact that even the Palestinian Authority blamed Hamas for the current crisis.

The UN Special Envoy on the Peace Process Nikolay Mladenov warned that the humanitarian crisis could spark another war, giving as the reason that “people will be angry, increasingly desperate…”

“UN warns of Gaza’s ‘total collapse’ amid power crisis,” writes Al-Jazeera, lamenting that, “Further cuts to Gaza’s already diminished electricity supply has besieged Strip on the brink of humanitarian catastrophe.”

The UN humanitarian coordinator for the occupied territories, Robert Piper, warned of the disastrous effect of further power cuts. A joint statement signed by 16 NGOs, including Rabbis for Human Rights, B’Tselem and Peace Now, called on the Israeli attorney general to intervene and force Israel to give Gaza free electricity on the grounds that Israel is legally responsible for the humanitarian welfare of the Gaza strip.

Amnesty International and other global NGOs also joined the condemnation.

All these condemnations harm Israel’s image  and increase pressure on it, creating strategic opportunities for Hamas to exploit for …

3.Profit

If Israel gives Gaza free electricity, it will, in effect, be subsidizing Hamas terrorism by freeing up resources that would be spent on paying for its own electricity, thus paying for terrorism.

This money will be coming from the pocket of the Israeli taxpayer.

If Israel refuses to pay for Hamas’ electricity, it tarnishes its already battered international image. It also puts itself in a moral quandary as images of beleaguered Palestinians roll across the news. This can also create social and political tension in Israel.

If Israel decides enough is enough and invades Gaza to replace Hamas, this will also benefit Hamas. As soon as the body count starts racking up, international and Palestinian sympathy will swing to support Hamas, as happened during and after the last Gaza war.

As the Jerusalem Post noted in their editorial on the electricity crisis, “Ultimately, the so-called electricity crisis is of Hamas’s making. As with the Islamist movement’s use of human shields, its purposeful positioning of combatants and rocket launchers in the midst of population centers, so too the default on Gaza’s electricity bill presents Israel with a difficult moral dilemma.

“Hamas is willing to sacrifice the lives of Gaza’s civilians in order to win the battle of public opinion. The image of a sick Palestinian baby lying untreated in a darkened Rantisi Pediatric Hospital in Gaza City is a blow to the gut that is impossible to explain away.”

There is yet another benefit: the international aid that can be extracted from the international community when Gaza faces a humanitarian crisis.

Hamas has already asked the UN, Europe and the Arab states to intercede with Abbas over the crisis. Meanwhile a ship containing 10,000 tons of aid from the Turkish IHH charity — the same charity whose head was arrested for using aid money to fund Hamas terror — docked in Ashdod so the goods could be taken to Gaza.

International donors give millions in aid to Gaza and will in all likelihood do so again if the situation worsens.

If this happens, Hamas will reap the benefits and steal the fresh aid money to fund terrorism while ignoring those who live under its rule.

Theirs is the strategy of the boa constrictor, aiming to slowly choke out Israel, not through brute force, but through relentless attrition and making all choices bad choices. The fact that Palestinians suffer is not only not a moral consideration, but it is actually part of the plan.

It is both brilliant and evil.

Illuminating Gaza

June 18, 2017

Illuminating Gaza, The Jewish PressVic Rosenthal, June 18, 2017

An Arab family eats a Ramadan dinner by candlelight in the Rafah refugee camp, in the southern Gaza Strip, during a power outage on June 12, 2017.

I’m calling it the Watts for Weapons program. I’m sure they’ll go along with it. Only someone who prefers killing Jews to keeping his own people alive could possibly turn it down.

***************************

{Originally posted to the author’s website, Abu Yehuda}

Gaza’s electricity shortage has recently become critical. Gaza gets its power from Israel and Egypt, and has a small power station of its own. But due to a decision of the Palestinian Authority to further reduce the amount it pays Israel  for electricity, the 3-4 hours a day during which Gaza is illuminated will be reduced by another 45 minutes or so – unless money is found somewhere.

Hamas is threatening that there will be an “explosion” unless something is done. It is a big problem for the population, because food is not being refrigerated, sewage is not being processed, water is not being pumped, and hospitals are unable to operate. And the weather is getting hotter.

Israel presently supplies Hamas with about 125 megawatt-hours (MWh) per day, and Egypt provides a smaller amount. Gaza’s own power station is presently not operating due to lack of fuel. It’s estimated that a 24-hour supply of electricity would require 400-500 MWh per day.

Negotiations are under way (Wednesday) for Western and Arab countries to pick up some of the slack. After all, think of the children. And nobody wants an “explosion.”

But there is a solution that nobody seems to have proposed yet. Let’s begin by asking a question: why doesn’t Hamas have money for electricity? After all, it levies heavy taxes on goods coming into the strip (both legally via the crossings from Israel and illegally via tunnels from Egypt) and on almost every other form of economic activity. It got money from Qatar until recently, and has now started receiving aid from Iran again. International donors pledged large sums for reconstruction after the 2014 war, although there was very little rebuilding done. Where did the money go?

The answer is simple: some of it enriched Hamas insiders, but most of it was used to dig tunnels, to manufacture rockets and for other weapons and military infrastructure. Hamas officials were ready to see their children (well, the children of other Gaza residents) hungry and wading in sewage if it advanced their project to destroy Israel.

In effect money was converted into weapons. And that provides a way to solve the problem: we can convert it back.

For example, what if Israel agreed to provide Hamas with 2 MWh for every stockpiled Qassam rocket turned over to us? They have thousands of these, which could keep the lights on for weeks. Not to mention longer-range rockets, which would be worth more. And tunnels – I’m sure we would be happy to give them a whole day’s worth of electricity for the precise location of a terror tunnel. Just give us the coordinates and we’ll do the rest! Anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons are valuable, too. A nice shoulder-fired SAM is probably worth 10 MWh. Even rifles and mortar shells could help keep the juice flowing.

You get the idea. From Israel’s point of view, it would be far cheaper than the tamir rockets used by Iron Dome to shoot down the Qassams ($50k -$100k each!), and the amount of effort needed to find the tunnels. Hamas would get its electricity – and we would get some peace and quiet for a change.

I’m calling it the Watts for Weapons program. I’m sure they’ll go along with it. Only someone who prefers killing Jews to keeping his own people alive could possibly turn it down.

Gaza on the Brink

June 3, 2017

Gaza on the Brink, Commentary Magazine, June 2, 2017

in Gaza City, Monday, April 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

The testimony of these Gazan refugees in Greece provides a rare opportunity to hear what Palestinians say when they’re out of reach of their own repressive governments and can speak freely. It thereby offers a glimpse at the true source of much Palestinian suffering – and a rebuke to all the journalists, diplomats, and NGOs who have collaborated with both Palestinian governments to hide this truth from the world.

******************************

If you ask Palestinians in either Gaza or the West Bank who’s responsible for their suffering, most would probably say Israel. But what would they say if they were safely overseas and no longer needed to fear their own governments? That’s not a question reporters, diplomats, or nongovernmental organizations usually bother asking. We now have an answer to it, at least with regard to Palestinians who fled Gaza. They left not because of anything Israel did, but because of persecution by Gaza’s Hamas-run government

Their testimony was brought by Haaretz reporter Zvi Bar’el, who went to Greece in search of Syrian refugees but accidentally stumbled instead on Palestinians from Gaza–thousands of them, by their own count. One Gazan refugee estimated there were about 6,000 Palestinians from Gaza in Athens alone. The Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights says the real figure is probably higher.

And that’s just those who have been able to leave. Many would like to but are stuck in Gaza because the border crossing to Egypt is open only a few days per month. Even when it’s open, only a few hundred people per day can leave. Osama, one of the Palestinians Bar’el interviewed, said that when he left Gaza (via a cross-border smuggling tunnel) over 25,000 people were on the waiting list to leave via the official border crossing.

And why have so many Gazans fled or tried to flee? The Palestinians Bar’el met had a uniform answer: Hamas. Not a single one of them even mentioned Israel in their responses.

“There’s a Palestinian doctor here who came with his wife and three children,” Osama told Bar’el. “Imagine, a doctor, a respectable person with a profession, has to flee Gaza only because he was suspected of disloyalty to Hamas.”

Ayman, who has been listening to the conversation in silence, joins in. “I’m a cartoonist, an artist, and I’ve had exhibitions in Gaza. Hamas didn’t like my cartoons and they forbade me to draw, and they also arrested me. After I spent time in a Hamas prison I decided to escape,” he says.

“They tied my hands and feet, they beat me, and after I was injured from the blows they transferred me to a hospital where I was for more than a month. In the meantime they also arrested my brother to get information out of him about me.”

Naji, another Gazan, showed Bar’el a deep scar on his leg that he said came from being tortured in a Hamas prison.

“One day I even tried to commit suicide. I slammed my head hard against a windowpane and put my neck up against the broken glass. But they pulled me back and I wasn’t successful,” he says, pointing to an ugly scar on his neck. “I’m telling you, Gaza is on the brink of civil war and no one knows what’s happening there. No one is interested.”

There are numerous UN agencies ostensibly devoted exclusively to helping the Palestinians, while human rights groups allocate disproportionate attention to this issue. In both cases, their only real interest in Palestinian suffering is finding some way to blame Israel for it. They couldn’t care less about protecting Palestinians from the abuses of their own government. That’s why they keep issuing reports accusing Israel of being the “key cause” of Palestinian suffering, as one UN agency put it this week, despite all evidence to the contrary.

Yet their blatant bias often obscures a larger problem that affects even well-meaning journalists, NGOs, diplomats and almost everyone else involved in telling the world about what’s happening in the West Bank and Gaza–a failure to understand the way fear affects what people say in nondemocratic societies. For Palestinians, blaming anyone other than Israel for their problems risks serious repercussions from either their own governments or vigilante groups affiliated with both governments. And that’s true not just in Hamas-run Gaza, as people like Ayman and Naji discovered to their sorrow, but also in the Fatah-run West Bank, where journalists, businessmen, and Palestinian security officers have all suffered arrest and financial sanctions for daring to criticize the Palestinian Authority or its president, Mahmoud Abbas. Blaming Israel is always the safest solution, even in cases where it’s patently untrue.

Responsible journalists, NGOs, and diplomats would take this fear factor into account and try to dig a little deeper to try to get at the truth. They would also recognize that the very fact that Israel is the one party no Palestinian fears to criticize is in itself a potent refutation of Palestinian claims that Israel is an oppressive regime. People who truly live under an oppressive regime are generally afraid to go on record criticizing it.

Instead, these opinion shapers take everything they hear from Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza at face value and parrot it uncritically. That does nothing to better the Palestinians’ lot, but a great deal to bolster the Palestinians’ own repressive governments by absolving them of all scrutiny and pressure to reform.

The testimony of these Gazan refugees in Greece provides a rare opportunity to hear what Palestinians say when they’re out of reach of their own repressive governments and can speak freely. It thereby offers a glimpse at the true source of much Palestinian suffering – and a rebuke to all the journalists, diplomats, and NGOs who have collaborated with both Palestinian governments to hide this truth from the world.