Monday, February 27, 2017

Totalitarian Hamas, Governing a Suffering Refugee Camp Community

"The Gazans must understand that Israel, which withdrew from the Gaza Strip to the last millimetre, is not the source of their suffering -- it is the Hamas leadership, which doesn't take their needs into consideration."
"The moment Hamas gives up its tunnels and rockets, we'll be the first to invest."
Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman
Gaza City -- Refugee Camp?

There is little reason for the coastal strip of Gaza not to function well as a self-sustaining enclave administered by a responsible government, with good trading relations across neighbouring borders. As it is some members of the ruling Hamas elite take advantage of the medical expertise in Israeli hospitals to send their ailing family members into Israel for advanced medical care. These are the same elites whose founding charter expresses topmost of its agenda a commitment to the destruction of that same State of Israel.

Grand Palace Hotel

That commitment keeps them inordinately busy. Constructing tunnels for various purposes; smuggling across borders, both goods and weapons, as well as terrorists. The tunnels running from Gaza into Israel enable Hamas to infiltrate the country they are determined to destroy, to try to capture Israeli soldiers, to conduct terror raids within Israeli border kibbutzes, as an entryway to Israel should they decide to initiate another of their sporadic challenges leading to conflict.

It is time-consuming and expensive to build those tunnels, to outfit them with electricity, with tracks, as storage units. The tunnels leading into the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt must be constantly rebuilt after being destroyed by Egyptian authorities when they can be detected. Some of the tunnels collapse during building, trapping within them Hamas conscripts charged with their construction; buried and suffocated to death, including teens conscripted for the work.

Thank heavens for the conscience of the international community which, with the United Nations, funded globally, does not hesitate to fund all the necessities of life for the poor, miserable Palestinian Gazans living hand-to-mouth. Those in the Scandinavian countries, for example, who cannot conceive that there are millionaires in Gaza, courtesy of their own generosity in their equivalent of Care packages for the men, women and children whom Israeli cruelty has consigned to poverty.
Luxury hotel overlooking Gaza Beach
The immense amount of concrete used for the tunnels sidelines the legitimate purpose of the concrete which is to rebuild vital infrastructure and dwellings, lost to conflict situations when Hamas stations their attack sites against Israel within civilian enclaves, knowing full well that the Israeli response will be to target the sites where the rockets emanate from. But that suits the Hamas public relations purpose very well, since any and all civilian casualties are hugely useful in persuading the international community that Israel targets helpless civilians.

Were all that energy to be converted to the useful administration of Gaza to benefit its million and three-quarters residents, the funding and the time and the concentration to benefit a society dedicated to civic and civil normalcy would most certainly result. Peaceful relations with neighbours would translate to economic opportunities and increased employment, benefiting the entire geography. A Hamas administration concerned with the well-being of Gazans, abandoning its obsession with destroying Israel, would itself be normalized.
Islamic University of Gaza |

But 'normalization' is a dirty word in the lexicon of the Palestinian leadership, both in the West Bank and Gaza. For normalization is seen as a repudiation of their half-century and more of dedication to combating a foreign element in their midst; Jews in a land of Arabs, notwithstanding that the Jews reflect a people that long predated the current Arab presence in the land of Judea. 'Normalization' equates with capitulation, and only the weak capitulate and make accommodation with those they are sworn to defeat.
5 star Al-Mashtal Hotel
5 star Al-Mashtal Hotel

Last week the Israeli Defence Minister issued a statement in Arabic to Gazans, offering to help build them a seaport, an airport and all else that would advance their interests in the creation of tens of thousands of job opportunities. Israel would do that and much more, if Hamas would cease building tunnels and no longer fire rockets into Israel. With Israel's wish to live in peace with its neighbours, a pledge from Hamas to demilitarize and finally accept the presence of a Jewish state, the opportunity is there to be reasonable.

Israel would also like to be accommodated in its request to have two bodies of Israeli soldiers returned. The response to this offer was Hamas co-founder Mahmoud al-Zahar offering the return of the two soldiers in exchange for the release of all Palestinian prisoners currently within the Israeli penal system. There for various criminal offences, all related to the dedication to the destruction of the State of Israel.

Al-Aqsa University

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