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October 20, 2016 / 18 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Hamas’

UN Report on Failed Gaza, PA Governments: It’s All Israel’s Fault

Monday, September 5th, 2016

If a visitor from outer space were to read the new Report of the “United Nations Conference on Trade and Development assistance to the Palestinian people: Developments in the economy of the Occupied Palestinian Territory” to be issued Tuesday, they would have walked away with an image of a nation of industrious, democratic, peace-loving people named the “Palestinians” who are intentionally and on a daily basis prevented from thriving and achieving the economic success they so richly deserve by a cruel and capricious Israeli occupation that sets out to torpedo every shred of goodness those peaceful folks manage to sustain.

This horrifying image is only enhanced by the fact that this report comes from the principal organ of the UN General Assembly dealing with trade, investment, and development issues. The organization’s goals are to: “maximize the trade, investment and development opportunities of developing countries and assist them in their efforts to integrate into the world economy on an equitable basis.”

With that in mind, here is the opening paragraph of the Executive summary of the UNCTAD report, meaning the gist of whatever else comes below:

“In 2015, Israel withheld Palestinian fiscal revenue for four months, donor aid declined and Israeli settlements continued to expand into the Occupied Palestinian Territory, while poverty and unemployment remained high. The Occupied Palestinian Territory continued to be a captive market for exports from Israel, while occupation neutralized the potential development impact of donor aid. Genuine reconstruction has yet to take off in the Gaza Strip despite $3.5 billion in donor pledges. Gaza’s socioeconomic conditions worsened and the infant mortality rate increased for the first time in 50 years.”

It’s an executive summary, so one cannot argue that so many of these assertions are being lumped together out of context. And yet, for a report that should provide an overview of the economic and social situation in the PA and Gaza to cite the withholding of revenues without mentioning that Israel was forced to freeze those funds after the PA had accumulated half a billion dollars in unpaid electric bills; and for the same executive summary to make the construction of a smattering of Jewish apartment units as a top-level cause for Arab decline — signals the point of view and general inclination of the authors.

You’re welcome to read the entire report if you wish. We went looking for those items that best reflect how the report turns facts and figures on their head to come up with the preconceived conclusion: it’s all the fault of the Israeli occupation, and once Israel is out of the picture you’ll see how those Palestinians will become Switzerland of the Middle East.

UN Blames Israel for Unemployment

Take, for instance, item 5, dealing with Arab unemployment. In 2015, the unemployment rate in the “Occupied Palestinian Territory” was 26%, compared with 12% in 1999.

What happened in 1999? Well, for some unknown reason, there was an Israeli “tightening of restrictions on movement and access of Palestinian labor and goods.”

What a capricious, wicked nation those Israelis must be. Of course, 1999-2000 marked the eruption of the second intifada, which made the current plague of shooting, stabbing, car ramming and stone and firebomb throwing look like a day at the fair. Israeli employers were done with hiring Arabs from the PA and Gaza who would turn on them one morning and slash their throat, thank you very much. Israel imported foreign labor from Asia, and other migrants started cutting through the border illegally in the Sinai, and the Arabs were pushed out of the Israeli labor market. God is in the context.

UN Blames Israel for PA Arabs Wanting to Work for Israelis

Next, the report offers a blatant lie (Item 6): “Lack of employment opportunities in the domestic economy forces thousands of unemployed Palestinians to seek employment in Israel and in settlements in low-skill, low-wage manual activities.”

The reality is that those “lowly” jobs in Israel pay three times what the average job pays inside the PA, and if Israel only issued more work permits, those PA Arabs would have gladly abandoned their lousy jobs in Ramallah and Shechem and flooded Israel’s construction sites.

But the report is unhappy with the fact that as many as 12% of the PA Arabs find decent employment in Israel, because, let’s face it, “this forced dependence on employment in Israel and in settlements magnifies the vulnerability of the Palestinian economy to political shocks, as Israel can at any time bar Palestinian workers, even those with Israeli permits, from entering Israel and settlements.”

On that assertion, there is one surefire way to make sure Israel would never, ever bar those workers and take away their permits: if Arabs from the PA not start shooting, stabbing, car ramming and stone and firebomb throwing. It’s a scientific correlation, proven by 50 years of Israeli presence in Judea, Samaria and Gaza: Arab violence leads to Arab poverty; Arab civility leads to Arab prosperity. It’s such a simple message, one must attend many anti-Semitic incitement sessions at one’s local mosque to be able to ignore it.

Israel’s Response to Arab Terror and Illegal Construction Harms the PA Economy

Here’s Item 9, which does not belong in an economic report, because it covers a negligible issue in terms of costs to the Arab economy, but it’s there to make a political point, and tell another lie: “In April 2016, the Secretary-General of the United Nations advised the Security Council that demolition of Palestinian homes and businesses in the West Bank was continuing at an alarming rate.” How alarming? “By early April, the number of Palestinian structures demolished had exceeded the total of those destroyed in 2015, displacing 840 people.”

Israel demolishes Arab homes in Area C for two reasons: illegal construction, and participation of one of the occupants in a terror attack. In terms of numbers, the vast majority of the structures are destroyed for lack of building permits. Israel is the recognized sovereign in Area C, according to the Oslo accords, and you can’t defy the sovereign power by building whatever and wherever you want. But Israel also demolishes Jewish structures in Area C, for a variety of legally contested issues, a fact that is completely ignored by the report which prefers to repeat the mantra that Israel demolished those Arab homes “while accelerated settlement activity created facts on the ground.”

Now, what was the economic effect of those 840 demolitions on the PA, whose citizens reside in Areas A and B? Probably negligible, but a point scored is a point earned.

In Item 14, UNCTAD supports the World Bank’s assessment of a problem they named “the Palestinian fiscal leakage.” What it means is that while the Arab earnings are meager and sub-standard in the PA, the PA Arabs working in Israel make triple those wages and get to keep a lot more after taxes, some of which Israel transfers to Ramallah. But the World Bank and now the UNCTAD want those PA laborers in Israel to pay higher taxes, which would go to their government. Indeed, Israel has promised to collect and transfer to Ramallah “$128 million to cover some of the losses accumulated over the years by the Authority.” That money, as the Israeli Finance Ministry explained to the Knesset Finance Committee this summer, will be coming out of the wages of PA Arabs working in Israel.

UN Blames Israel for Gaza’s Internal Problems

Now we get to what the report names, “Slow reconstruction in Gaza and disregard for the productive base.”

It has been documented by every major news outlet and at least two recent court cases in Israel that Hamas has completely usurped the $3.5 billion in donations for the digging of new terror tunnels and for rebuilding Hamas leaders’ homes destroyed in the 2014 war. It is also understood by most rational people in the world that as long as the Gaza Strip is governed by a terrorist organization whose major stated aim is to destroy the Jewish State, Israel has no choice but to impose a blockade on the free flow of goods into Gaza, because those goods would inevitably be used to prepare for the next attack on Israel.

Not on planet UNCTAD.

Item 22 states without benefit of context or recognition of regional realities: “Israel’s blockade of Gaza, in its ninth year, continues to exert a heavy toll. The population of Gaza is locked in, denied access to the West Bank and the rest of the world. … The blockade has affected Gaza’s once vibrant export sector.” Ah, those capricious Israelis and their obsession with not getting killed.

UN Report Straight Out Lies

The same item adds a nasty line: “Even people in need of medical treatment are not allowed to travel to obtain essential health care.” The author of this blatant lie should come visit Israeli hospitals in Ashkelon, Ashdod and Beer Sheva, where Gazan patients are a regular feature, including family members of top Hamas officials.

Israel Refuses to Be Annihilated

Item 23 is also about Israel’s refusal to be annihilated: “A prominent element of Israel’s restrictions on Palestinian productive activities is the dual-use list, which prohibits the importation of civilian goods deemed by Israel as potentially having other, harmful uses. The list includes essential factors of production, raw materials, agricultural fertilizers, telecommunications equipment, steel, pipes, spare parts and other capital goods.”

Yes, because Hamas engineers have skillfully turned all those highly useful items into highly murderous weapons.

The same item complains that “recently, more items have been added to the list, and the thickness of wood classified as dual-use has been reduced from 5 to 3 cm, then to 1 cm. This has far-reaching implications for Gaza’s furniture industry, among other harmful effects. Enforcement of the stringent dual-use restrictions obstructs reconstruction efforts, raises production costs and forces Palestinian firms out of business.”

Again, let Hamas officially abandon its murderous designs on Israel, let it sign a document recognizing Israel’s right to exist and watch how the Gaza Strip becomes paradise in a month. The fact is, with the right investments and without the Islamic extremists’ threat, Gaza could become as pretty and as prosperous as Sad Diego. Parts of it already are, even today.

UN Blames Israel for Gaza’s Now Rising Infant Mortality Rate

Item 25 is a tour de force of convoluted logic: “A shocking indicator of the grim situation in Gaza is the rising infant mortality rate, one of the best indicators for the health of a community. Infant mortality has risen for the first time in 50 years. The rate of neonatal mortality has also risen significantly, from 12 per 1,000 live births in 2008 to 20.3 in 2013.”

The sad truth is that Israel was investing in Judea and Samaria and Gaza infrastructure and social services to the point where they exceeded the standards in all other Arab countries. It is safe to say that had Israel continued to run those territories, today they would have been its equal in terms of social services and levels of income.

The relatively low baby mortality cited for Gaza in 2008 did not appear out of thin air — Israel, that hated occupier, pushed it on with heavy investments and years of government effort. The progressive decline in both parts of the Arab-run territories is not the result of “the occupation,” but of the utter failure of local Arab governments to manage modern state systems. We can illustrate this point:

On June 16, 1994, the Israeli Civil Administration in the Territories issued a report comparing the state of the Arab infrastructure in Judea, Samaria and Gaza in 1970 with 1990. According to that report, in 1970 Gaza had 3 community clinics. In 1990 there were 28. Each of the Israeli built Community Clinics in the Gaza Strip offered mother and child health services, family care units, and pharmacies. Several of the centers offered 24-hour a day delivery units and emergency services, and minor x-ray units.

Major renovations and/or additions were made to almost every hospital in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza since 1967. Thus, for example, Rafidiah Hospital in Shechem received a radiology center in 1987 and an out-patient department in 1988. Wattani Hospital in Shechem received an intensive care unit in 1987. Ramallah Hospital received a diagnostic radiology center in 1987 and a neo-natal and premature intensive care unit in 1986. Beit Jala Hospital received a radiology center in 1987. Hebron Hospital received an outpatient and laboratory wing in 1988. The Bethlehem Mental Hospital received a chronic care department for male patients in 1986. The dialysis department at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City was completely renovated in 1989. Khan Yunis Hospital’s surgical suite was refurbished in 1987. The Opthalmic Hospital in Gaza City was renovated and re-equipped in 1989.

And infant mortality in Gaza declined from approximately 85 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1968 to 26.1 in 1990. In Judea and Samaria, infant mortality declined from approximately 35 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1968, to 18.1 in 1991.

For comparison, in 1991 deaths per 1,000 births in Libya stood at 62, Egypt 82, Turkey 54, Iraq 66, Syria 37, Tunisia 38, Jordan 38, Lebanon 50 and Saudi Arabia 69.

Together with the decline in infant mortality, great progress was made by Israel in controlling and eliminating major childhood diseases, due mainly to immunization programs instituted since 1967. Twelve nursing schools, two of which offer BA degree programs were opened between 1971 and 1991. The numbers of both doctors and nurses more than doubled from 1967 to 1991.

Voluntary health insurance plans which were unavailable before 1967 were first offered in Judea and Samaria in 1973, and in Gaza in 1976. In 1978, a new comprehensive plan was introduced; it was automatically applied to Civil Administration workers and to area residents working in Israel and was offered to all other area residents on a voluntary basis.

Israel greatly improved and expanded sewage treatment facilities in the liberated areas. Before 1967, there were no sewage treatment plants in Judea and Samaria. Since 1967, modern installations were built in Jenin (1971), Tulkarem (1972), Ramallah (1979), and Kalkilya (1986). The first stage of the Hebron sewage treatment plant was completed in 1991. In Gaza, sewage was managed through local septic tanks. Since 1967, treatment facilities were improved and/or constructed in Gaza City, Khan Yunis, Jabalya, Rafiah, and the Shati refugee camp. Routine testing of sewage for various enteric bacteria was begun in 1981.

Judea and Samaria were recognized as malaria-free areas in 1971.

UN Report Blames Israel for Palestinian Authority’s Failure in Self-Government 

Item 37 in the UNCTAD report unwittingly makes this point: “Palestinian economic indicators have deteriorated in the last two decades, with serious ramifications for the welfare of the Palestinian people. In 1995-2014, the population grew by 3.6 per cent annually, while real GDP per capita grew by only 1 per cent. In addition, productivity failed to grow and unemployment increased by 9 percentage points to 27%.”

What else happened between 1994 and 2014?

Yes, governing of Judea, Samaria and Gaza was handed over to the local Arab leadership, which proceeded to mess things up while inciting to violence against the only country on earth that actually took the trouble to help them. With numbers like these, and the report heaps them in multicolored tables, the Arab record of self-government is nothing short of abysmal.

Naturally, UN reports that tell the world these failed regimes aren’t to blame, it’s all Israel’s fault, are not helping anyone, least of all the local Arabs who by now are telling survey takers openly they would rather live under Israeli rule or escape to Canada, whichever comes first.


Egyptian Soldier Shot Dead by Sniper in Rafah

Monday, September 5th, 2016

An Egyptian soldier was killed Sunday afternoon by snipers in an ambush attack near a military base at the entrance to the Egyptian part of the city of Rafah.

When Israel withdrew from the Sinai in 1982, Rafah was split into a Gazan part and an Egyptian part, separated by barbed-wire barriers. The middle of the city was razed to create a large buffer zone.

Egyptian security sources said Sunday the attack killed a soldier named Mustafa Badr Hashim, 19, years of Assiut, from a gunshot wound. His body was flown to the military hospital in El-Arish.

Meanwhile, according to the Hamas government, the Egyptians have kept the Rafah border crossings open all day Sunday and will keep it open Monday, to allow passage from the Gaza Strip into Egypt and on to Saudi Arabia for the Muslim pilgrimage. So far a reported 1,243 have been allowed through, while 51 were rejected. Thousands more are expected to request passage should the Egyptian government decide to keep the crossing open.

David Israel

Gazan Equipment Dealer Charged With Smuggling, Selling Scuba Gear to Hamas

Monday, September 5th, 2016

A Gaza-based equipment dealer was indicted Sunday on charges of smuggling scuba diving equipment into the region and selling it to the Hamas terrorist organization.

The indictment came after a joint investigation by Israel Police and the Israel Security Agency, known as the Shin Bet.

Israel’s Southern District prosecutor filed an indictment in a Be’er Sheva court against 41-year-old Abd al-Rahman Sakallah.

The Gaza dealer faces seven charges that include security offenses, provision of service to an illicit organization, contact with a foreign agent, fraud under aggravated circumstances and carrying out illegal property transactions. He was also accused of selling sporting equipment and clothing to the terror organization.

Inspection agents always scrutinize goods as they enter the ports and the land crossings prior to delivery into Gaza due to the frequency of attempts to smuggle contraband to terrorist organizations. In this case, scuba diving equipment is used by Hamas terror commandos to retrieve smuggled weapons and other ordnance via illicit maritime deliveries, and infiltrate into Israel and carry out terror attacks.

Israeli Navy vessels allegedly fired at Gaza fishermen caught sailing outside the permitted zone off the coast of the al-Soudaniya area of central to southern Gaza. The incidents took place Saturday night and Sunday during the day, according to the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency.

But an IDF spokesperson declined to comment on the report.

Gazans who appear to be “fishing” are sometimes seeking things other than living creatures for food beneath the waves, and Israeli sailors are forced to be on constant alert as they patrol the coastline to defend against arms smugglers and terrorists.

Hana Levi Julian

IDF Fires Back at Hamas Position

Sunday, September 4th, 2016

Just before midnight after Shabbat, IDF troops running standard operations alongside the Gaza border near Netiv Ha’asara came under fire from within Gaza.

No one was injured in the attack, but bullet holes were found in the ground next to the troops.

The IDF then fired at a Hamas position, according to the IDF spokesperson.

The IDF did not clarify if it used artillery or tank fire against the Hamas target.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Hamas Leader Khaled Meshaal’s Mother Dies in Jordan

Saturday, September 3rd, 2016

The mother of Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal died in Jordan, local media reported.

Meshaal, Chairman of the Hamas Political Bureau, was born in 1956 in Silwad in Judea and Samaria during the Jordanian occupation. He attended Silwad Elementary School until the 1967 Six-Day War, after which his father moved the family to Kuwait for financial reasons. Mashaal joined the Muslim Brotherhood in 1971. He holds a bachelor of science degree in Physics from Kuwait University.

David Israel

Father of IDF Staff Sgt. Oron Shaul, z’l, Dies Waiting for Son’s Body

Friday, September 2nd, 2016

Herzl Shaul, the father of IDF Staff Sergeant Oron Shaul, z’l, has passed away 10 months after a hard-fought battle of his own with a difficult illness.

The elder Shaul has spent the past two years fighting for the return of his son’s remains from captivity by the Hamas terrorist organization in Gaza, but earlier this year he was diagnosed with cancer of the small intestine.

The soldier’s father was treated for the disease at Poriya Medical Center in Tiberias and at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, a global leader in the treatment of cancer, but the disease metastisized. Within the year Herzl Shaul lost 25 kilograms, more than 50 pounds.

This past week he gave up his fight for his son’s remains, as his own fight for life intensified. He was moved to Tel Hashomer Medical Center in Tel Aviv, with the Defense Minister providing accommodations for his wife near the hospital in order for her to remain close to her husband.

Shaul was initially believed to be missing. The six other soldiers inside his armored personnel carrier (APC) were killed. But the evidence gathered from the scene led investigators to the conclusion that the 20-year-old soldier had died in the July 20, 2014 battle during Operation Protection Edge. The terrorists who attacked his Givati Brigades unit stole his body to hold him hostage as a bargaining chip with Israel.

The younger Shaul was subsequently declared by the IDF Chief Rabbi to be a soldier who died but whose burial place is unknown. His family sat shiva, but later requested the IDF designate him as a soldier “missing in action,” which it did.

Herzl and Zehava Shaul for months led a daily vigil outside the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, pressuring the government to bring back the body of their son.

Netanyahu and his wife Sara expressed their condolences to the family on Friday. “In our meetings with Herzl we saw a strong man who devoted all his time and energy toward his health and efforts to return the body of his late son,” the prime minister said, adding a vow that Israel would not fail to retrieve Oron’s remains.

“The Defense Ministry and the people of Israel bow their heads in sorrow at the death of Herzl, of blessed memory,” said Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman in his statement. I met with Herzl about a month ago. [He] did everything in his power to return his late son Oron and I am saddened he did not achieve this before he died. The Israeli government is committed to returning the bodies of Staff Sergeant Oron Shaul and Lieutenant Hadar Goldin of blessed memory and bringing them to Israel for burial.”

IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot paid tribute to the elder Shaul as well, saying he had pledged to keep fighting to return the bodies of both his son and Goldin. “Herzl was the head of an exemplary family,” he said in a statement.

“I send a strong embrace to [his wife] Zehava and the family at this difficult time. I met Herzl for the last time a week ago, and I promised him that we will continue to do everything we can to bring Oron and Hadar home, to be laid to rest in Israel.”

Hana Levi Julian

Gaza Businessman Admits, “Hamas Funds Terror Infrastructure in Judea and Samaria”

Thursday, September 1st, 2016

By Michael Zeff/TPS

A businessman from Gaza with an entry permit to Israel and Judea and Samaria told the IDF under questioning on Wednesday that he had transferred USD 50,000 in cash from Hamas officials in Gaza to those in Hebron, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) revealed on Thursday evening.

According to Hamas’s own media reports, the businessman in question, Bashir Muhammad Yunus Mustafa, was apprehended at the Erez Crossing between Israel and Gaza by the Israeli Crossing Authority and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency).

Mustafa, a resident of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, held a permanent permit issued by COGAT that allowed him to cross over freely from Gaza into Israel and to enter Judea and Samaria. According to COGAT, such permits are issued by the Israeli government for humanitarian reasons and in order to facilitate free trade between Gaza and the Palestinian Authority controlled territories.

According to COGAT Spokesperson, Hadar Horn, Mustafa was released after his questioning. “He has a heart condition,” was Horn’s explanation for the immediate release.

An Israeli security official revealed to Tazpit Press Service (TPS) that the Hamas terror organization has its own so-called “crossings unit.”. According to our source, one of the purposes of this unit is to identify Gazan residents who have entry permits into Israel or crossing permits into Judea and Samaria for either humanitarian or business reasons and to then approach these individuals and recruit them to serve as “mules” for their money-smuggling operations.

“It is very likely that this businessman is a decent and innocent man, but it’s a bit hard to say no to Hamas,” the security source told TPS.

Hamas is outlawed as an illegal terror organization in Israel, the United States, and the European Union. The organization contains a political and military faction that are the de facto sovereign in the Gaza strip.

Israel’s security and intelligence bodies over the past few months have apprehended several individuals who had legal entry permits to Israel and who used them to transfer large sums of money to Hamas operatives outside of Gaza.

“Terrorist groups take advantage of these [entry] permits for illegal purposes such as the financing of terrorism,” a Shin Bet spokesperson stated. “The money was destined for Hamas cells operating in Judea and Samaria. Hamas took advantage of Israel’s willingness to issue humanitarian permits to Gazans.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/gaza-businessman-admits-hamas-funds-terror-infrastructure-in-judea-and-samaria/2016/09/01/

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