A foreign journalist writing for the United Arab Emirates newspaper The National recently visited the Gaza Strip and discovered the reason many Gazans are still struggling despite the enormous influx of aid. That reason, as most already knew, is because Hamas is stealing the bulk of what your tax dollars are buying.
We have already noted that there is a huge gap between the haves and have-nots in Gaza, that the affluent neighborhoods and fancy attractions sit side-by-side with slums. Of course, that makes Gaza little different than many areas of South America, Asia or even the rest of the Middle East. The difference in Gaza is that billions of dollars worth of humanitarian aid is supposed to be closing that gap.
Speaking to the people on the street, including members of rival terrorist groups, journalist Mitchell Prothero found that instead of facilitating the distribution of that aid, Hamas is making a tidy profit off of it.
[Editor’s note: if you follow that link, be forewarned that the article begins by again trying to paint all of Gaza as a destitute wasteland, excusing the Palestinian public for voting Hamas into power, justifying terrorism, and ultimately blaming a heartless and arbitrarily cruel Israel for all the region’s troubles.]
“If you’re not in Hamas, you get nothing,” local businessman Abu Mohammed told Prothero.
Islamic Jihad commander Abu Musab told the reporter that his former comrades in Hamas “used to be mujahideen (Muslim resistance fighters), but today are fat millionaires with nice cars.”
Abu Musab revealed that the vast amount of medical aid sent by Europe is all stolen by Hamas and sold in Hamas pharmacies. He produced a packet of antibiotics stamped “A gift from the people of Norway. Not for resale,” and noted:
“I just bought this from a Hamas-run pharmacy…for my son. I had to go to a Hamas pharmacy to make sure the pills weren’t fake or made from poor materials in Egypt. If you want real medicine, you have to buy the aid Europe sends us.”
A Palestinian human rights activist who requested not to be named was asked by Prothero if perhaps life was better when Israel ruled the territory. His response: “Why do you think I ask you not use my name? Yes, 100 percent yes. At least the occupation [sic] had a positive effect of drawing the Palestinian people together instead of dividing them.”
The lesson learned, at least for those paying attention, is that the Palestinian Arabs at present are incapable of self-governance without becoming a welfare state relying on constant international intervention, or collapsing into chaos.
Political analyst Mkhaimer Abu Sada told Prothero that as the situation now stands, there is little that can be done. Hamas is “in total control of the situation in Gaza,” said Abu Sada, noting that the terror group can now field upwards of 35,000 armed gunmen, whereas in 2006 it only had 5,000-6,000 fighters in Gaza.
“The Americans, Israelis and [Mahmoud Abbas’] Fatah simply cannot accept this simple fact: that for now there is absolutely no way anyone can beat Hamas,” Abu Sada insisted.
There are Israelis who would dispute that conclusion and point out that were the Israeli army given a free hand by its own government and the international community, Hamas could be militarily destroyed, or at least weakened enough to let Abbas’ group retake power.