Readers who believe the fabrication that residents of Gaza are poverty-stricken Arabs living in muddy shacks with nothing to eat should find this article comforting.
Hamas has released its latest online campaign video to bring new tourists to Gaza.
The hashtag in Arabic reads: #ShukranHamas — #ThankYouHamas.
The ceaseless barrage by Hamas of rocket and mortar fire aimed at Israel and the abduction and murder of three Israeli teenagers in Gush Etzion prompted a military response from the Israel Defense Forces in July and August 2014. But since then, Gaza has been a very busy place.
Countries from around the world have poured money into the region to help rehabilitate the infrastructure. Israeli forces silenced the rocket fire emanating from the residential buildings, hospitals and schools, aimed by Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists. The two terror organizations deliberately embedded their military operations among civilians in order to use them as human shields. They maximized the destruction of their own cities and the deaths of their own citizens in order to exploit the media coverage for future fundraising.
It worked, of course.
After the war, Israel was excoriated for taking out the rocket launchers and other weaponry in order to neutralize the threat to its own civilian population.
And money poured in to Gaza from all quarters, as did construction supplies. Israel was forced to allow dual use materials into the region. That doesn’t include the daily in-and-out movement of people and the humanitarian aid shipments, foodstuffs, dry goods, and fuel that still flow through the border crossings, along with repeated attempts to smuggle weapons, explosives and military parts among the goods as well.
As the infrastructure and residential buildings were rebuilt, so too was the subterranean military structure of the ruling terrorist authority, which has been caught repeatedly siphoning off money and supplies intended for civilian use. This month, bona fide employees of the United Nations have been caught working for Hamas. But it hasn’t stopped the process; in fact, the United Nations has done absolutely nothing about it. Probably, it can’t and likely it wouldn’t anyway. During the last war more than a few UNRWA schools were used as storage facilities for missiles. Nothing concrete was done about that either, other than a public slap on the wrist, probably for having been stupid enough to get caught on camera. Israel, naturally, was condemned in a formal inquiry after the war.
But should anyone believe the fiction that residents of Gaza are still suffering due to restrictions by Israel, please don’t hesitate to retain the link to this article on your desktop, and review it periodically. Or at least, retain the link to the YouTube video so thoughtfully provided by Hamas. That, at least, should reassure such readers that nothing could be further from the truth.
United Nations Special Envoy Laurie Cardoza-Moore has called on all international humanitarian organizations to immediately halt all aid money to Gaza until it can be proven that the money isn’t being squandered by Hamas. Her statement came hours after a UN employee in Gaza was indicted for funneling charity donations to pay for Hamas naval units and days after the director of the Evangelical World Vision charity in Gaza was accused of diverting as much as $50M in charitable donations to the Islamist terror group.
Cardoza-Moore who represents the World Council of Independent Christian Churches (WCICC) at the United Nations and is President of the Evangelical Christian organization “Proclaiming Justice to the Nations” (PJTN) stated: “The enemy of the people of Gaza is Hamas, not Israel. Hamas has hijacked the coastal strip and rules over its people with an iron fist. For decades, the leadership of Hamas has robbed its people of aid money. The time has come to halt all aid money into the Gaza Strip as long as Hamas is in control.“
She continued: “If the international community wants to help the impoverished people of Gaza, they must work to free them from Hamas. It is unacceptable that hundreds of millions of dollars are likely being directly transferred to the coffers of an international terrorist organization in the name of Christianity and humanity. No Church or humanitarian organization should send a single cent to Gaza as long as it is run by a band of murderous terrorist bandits.”
Cardoza-Moore contacted World Vision last week to find out how an Evangelical Christian organization could hire a Hamas terrorist sympathizer to distribute aid money — but to date she has not received a response. In addition she has lodged a formal complaint with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and demanded that they immediately stop distributing aid to Gaza.
PJTN, a not-for-profit organization, was established to educate Christians about their Biblical responsibility to stand with their Jewish brethren and Israel, utilizing powerful film and video presentations, a variety of grassroots rallies, events and speaking engagements to facilitate dialogue between the Christian and Jewish communities in support of the State of Israel and against global genocidal anti-Semitism.
Syrian residents in the once-beautiful commercial hub of Aleppo are gathering their strength — what little remains — to seek whatever safe spaces they can find in the next 24 hours.
The splintered fragments of opposition forces are about to launch their final stand against the forces of President Bashar al-Assad.
Thus far, opposition forces appear to have the upper hand in this vicious, years-long civil war that has ripped the soul from a lovely land that for decades was the Republic of Syria, but no longer. Today Syria has been torn apart and divvied up among hungry competing warlords like a bleeding carcass about to be butchered for lion cubs.
Some 250,000 residents are beginning to slowly starve in Aleppo, trapped in the eastern part of the city since early July, while the western part of the city remained under government control. The residents of the eastern party of the city are almost without food and water now, after the main artery into that section was shut down by regime forces nearly six weeks ago.
The water pumps in the city are without power. That means two million people are without running water and facing a full siege.
Syrian state media reports government and Russian warplanes are continuing to bomb opposition forces.
But those opposition forces cut off the key access route into the western part of the city Sunday to block the entry of regime soldiers.
According to media sources in Tehran quoted by A-Sharq al-Awsat, “around 2,000 fighters came from Iran, Iraq and Lebanon to assist regime forces,” but the infusion of foreign aid didn’t faze the opposition.
Jaish al-Fatah, the Islamist opposition group, released a voice recording on Monday of a phone-tapped conversation by a Hezbollah guerrilla fighter describing the situation on the southern Aleppo front. The fighter said in a Lebanese accent that Hezbollah and regime fighters were collapsing and were left to fight alone. Other militias had already abandoned the front, fleeing the debacle to save their own lives.
According to a Ahrar al-Sham leader who spoke with A-Sharq al-Awsat, “The collapse in the ranks of regime forces is clear and it continues as long as Jaish al-Fatah fighters advance in the city.”
Both sides are now preparing for “the great battle of Aleppo,” said Rami Abdulrahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The United Nations is urging both sides to cease their fire — or at least to pause it — long enough to allow repairs to the water and electricity grids.
According to UN sources, some two million people are without basic supplies — such as sugar, wheat, food cans and water — and children in the city are at “grave risk” of disease.
Opposition forces, meanwhile, say they are poised to take control of the entire city. The fragmented forces are united in this goal, at least, and it is this unity that allows the exchange of Western-supplied weapons between so-called “moderate” Syrian opposition forces and those who are dubbed “radical Islamist groups” linked to Al Qaeda and Da’esh (ISIS).
That unity when it comes to fighting the Assad regime is not well understood by the United States and other Western nations, and it is this Western lack of familiarity with the regional culture codes that has repeatedly led to disaster when trying to fight worldwide terror.
For all of these reasons, and because of the utter chaos taking place north of Israel’s border, the IDF is being especially watchful now.
Wahid Abdullah Borsch, 38, from Jabaliya in the Gaza Strip, was arrested in July on suspicion of using his employment by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to carry out missions for Hamas. UNDP carries out housing and development projects for the Gaza population, including renovating homes damaged in the military conflicts with Israel.
The Southern District Prosecutor has indicted Wahid Borsch in Beer Sheva District Court for assisting the Hamas organization.
According to Shabak, Borsch has worked for UNDP since 2003, and his responsibility included demolishing damaged homes and removing rubbish from the area. In his interrogation Borsch revealed that in 2014 he had been directed by a senior Hamas official to focus on his work at UNDP in ways that benefit Hamas. These benefits included diverting UNDP resources to building a clandestine marina in the northern Gaza Strip in 2015, to be used by the Hamas military arm.
Borsch also confessed to influencing his superiors at UNDP to prioritize the rehabilitation in areas where Hamas seniors lived — following instructions he had received from Hamas.
Borsch told his interrogators about several cases in which Hamas openly and brutally usurped the UNDP activities to its needs. For instance, whenever a UNDP rehabilitation project exposed military equipment or tunnel openings in the homes being renovated, Hamas would take over the site and collect the loot — in violation of the clear protocol requiring a report to the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), which is in charge of removing and destroying illegal military equipment.
Borsch revealed the names of several Hamas agents who have penetrated humanitarian aid organizations in Gaza, as well as information regarding storage facilities, bunkers and tunnels appropriated by Hamas.
Shabak commented that the Borsch case, coming as it does on the heels of the scandal around the World Vision charity’s senior official Mohammad El Halabi who diverted millions of dollars to Hamas, shows the callused way in which Hamas is using international aid for its murderous aims.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry released a statement saying, “Israel updated the UN secretary-general’s office and the heads of the UNDP in New York on the arrest and the charges [against Borsh]. We expect the UN, and particularly the UN’s aid organizations, to unequivocally condemn Hamas for the exploitation of the aid mechanisms, and to take concrete action to ensure humanitarian aid reaches those who need it and not the heads of Hamas.”
I have not been up to Har Habayit. I have not gone up out of total awe and respect for the Kedusha that resides up on Mount Moriah and the fact that Israel will not allow me to pray where the two Temples stood and where Avraham almost sacrificed his son, Yitzchak. I know that according to Jewish law there are areas that one can go after immersing in a ritual bath (Mikveh) and I am beginning to change my mind about going up to Har Habayit should I go up.
Please read this post before watching the video below, and feel free to share it.
I have not gone up although I yearn to walk, pray and worship on the holiest place on Earth for the Jewish people and it is emotionally depressing to see what is happening up there.
אוי מה היה לנו! מה עשינו אוי!
I watch as Jewish history is wiped out of existence by a radical Islamic brute squad as they uncover and then destroy two thousand year old artifacts as they attempt to erase Jewish existence in Israel, In Jerusalem and on Har Habit and that’s why I fast on the 9th of Av. ,! אוי מה היה לנו, מה עשינו אוי I hear reports of Israeli policemen arresting Jews who dared to utter a prayer on the Temple Mount and I wonder, what are we doing?! That’s why I fast on the 9th of Av.
אוי מה היה לנו! מה עשינו אוי!
For the past 25 years my father and I spent Yom Kippur praying in a shul on top of the Kotel overlooking Har Habayit. This shul was originally set up by Rav Goren and is open for prayer only twice a year; the 9th of Av and Yom Kippur. For the past decade, my son Yakir has joined me and recently so has my youngest, Natan. Several years ago my youngest looked out the window and as he starred down at the Temple Mount, he said with anger in his voice, “Abba! Why are they (Arabs) playing soccer where the Bet Hamikdash stood?” I have no answer and I wanted to cry…
אוי מה היה לנו! מה עשינו אוי!
In 1967 we heard the miraculous call from our brave IDF soldiers as they liberated the Temple Mount; “Har Habayit Biyadeinu!” The ‘Temple Mount is in our hands!’ For the first time in 2,00 long and painful years, God has brought us back and with the courage and sacrifice of our soldiers, we were back! We could have built the Temple and instead…..we handed the keys back to those who play soccer on the holy of Holies….how can we not cry!
אוי מה היה לנו! מה עשינו אוי!
People ask where was God during Holocaust, I ask where was man! We were given Har Habit in 67 and we gave it away!
אוי מה היה לנו!
It is for this reason that I am contemplating going up to Har Habayit…If we do not show Jewish presence there, how can we call it ours? Avraham was commanded to walk the land in order to claim it is his, shall we not do the same?
If the Temple is not built and we are once again forced to fast on the 9th of Av, I will cry, but it will crying over our own lack of faith and not aimed at asking God why. He gave us Har Habayit, we refused to take it! When we were originally commanded to go up to the land of Israel, we cried in vain. We ignored all that God did for us in Egypt and the miracles we witnessed as He took us out of Egypt. We ignored the miraculous victories over the strongest dynasties and we went to our tents to cry because we had no faith in God. We decided to say ‘we couldn’t’ when God clearly proved with HIS help ‘we could.’
On Wednesday, Christian Today reported that Mohammad El Halabi, an employee of World Vision (WV), the world’s largest evangelical Christian charity, had been detained on June 15 at the Erez crossing “on his way home from routine meetings” and was being held “without access to legal counsel or family visits,” which is normal fare in Israel with regards to security prisoners.
Last Friday, when El Halabi’s detention had been extended until August Tuesday, Aug. 2, WV’s eastern Jerusalem office released a statement saying, “World Vision stands by Mohammad who is a widely respected and well-regarded humanitarian, field manager and trusted colleague of over a decade. He has displayed compassionate leadership on behalf of the children and communities of Gaza through difficult and challenging times, and has always worked diligently and professionally in fulfilling his duties.”
It should be interesting to see the charity’s response to the charges submitted against El Halabi by the Southern District Prosecution in Beer Sheva District Court Thursday, describing him as Hamas activist who has been using his high position in the charity organization to systematically divert millions of dollars to the military arm of Hamas, financing, among other things, the digging of terror tunnels. The monies, according to Thursday’s indictment, was taken out of funds and resources that had been dedicated to humanitarian assistance to Gaza Strip residents. The indictment includes 12 counts of security violations of passing information to the enemy, membership in a terror organization, funding terrorism, participation in an unlawful association, and contact with foreign agents.
The facts included in the indictment describe El Halabi as having a master’s degree in engineering. A member of Hamas since 1995, in 2004 he joined the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military arm of Hamas. In 2005 he was hired by WV to carry out administrative assignments at the charity’s Gaza branch. His job provided him with an entry permit into Israel. El Halabi exploited his visits to Israel to locate and mark [via GPS] sites near the Erez Crossing that potentially could be used as egress points for Hamas attack tunnels.
Carrying out his assignments, according to the prosecution, El Halabi usurped millions of dollars in donations that arrived from foreign countries such as the US, Australia, Germany and the UK, and were slated for humanitarian needs, agricultural, education, and psychological support.
According to El Halabi, the humanitarian aid donated for the residents of the Gaza Strip was in actual fact given almost exclusively to Hamas terrorists and their families. Non-Hamas members almost never received any benefit from the aid, despite their relative level of need. Needless to say, this is in contradiction to the accepted practice of the humanitarian aid organizations. Every month, El Halabi distributed thousands of packages of food, basic commodities and medical supplies to Hamas terrorists and their families, commodities that World Vision had intended to go to the needy.
Over his many years working for WV, El Halabi transferred to Hamas’s possession thousands of tons of iron rods, digging equipment and plastic hoses, originally intended for agricultural use but in reality utilized by the Hamas tunnel builders and for building military bases such as the “Palestine” military base which was built in 2015 entirely from British aid money. Some of the money went to pay the salaries of Hamas terrorists and, in some cases, senior Hamas terrorists took large sums of money for their own personal use. During the war of 2014, Hamas terrorists received WV food packages to sustain them above and below ground, including in terror tunnels.
El Halabi also provided plastic sheets bearing the WV emblem to cover the openings of tunnels, making them look like agricultural hothouses.
According to the indictment, around the year 2012, El Halabi was engaged by Hamas to initiate a greenhouse project, to use greenhouses to hide the sites where terror tunnels were being dug. In addition, a project for the rehabilitation of (fictitious) fishermen was actually used to provide motor boats and diving suits for Hamas’s military marine unit.
The Shabak investigation revealed that the main method El Halabi used to divert money to Hamas was to put out fictitious tenders for WV-sponsored projects in the Gaza Strip. The “winning” company was simply informed that 60% of the project’s funds were to be designated for Hamas.
El Halabi told his interrogators that a regular method of acquiring equipment for Hamas was to disguise Hamas warehouses as WV warehouses. Trucks bringing supplies to the Kerem Shalom Crossing between Israel and Gaza would then unload their goods at Hamas warehouses instead of legitimate WV warehouses. Hamas operatives would pick up the supplies in the dead of night.
According to Shabak, the El Halabi investigation revealed much information concerning additional figures in the Gaza Strip who exploited their work for humanitarian aid organizations and UN institutions, on behalf of Hamas. El Halabi’s statements portray a troubling picture in which UN institutions in Gaza are in fact controlled by Hamas.
How the Money Was Transferred to Hamas
Some of the money raised to support injured children in Gaza was diverted to the families of Hamas terrorists, by fraudulently listing their children as wounded.
Money designated for psychological support, education and health in Gaza ($2 million/year) was used to pay the families of Hamas terrorists.
Part of the WV donations was transferred in cash and recorded fraudulently as aid to needy children.
Monies were paid out as salaries to Hamas terrorists and activists, who were registered as employees of the aid organization when in fact they never worked for WV.
Costs for legitimate infrastructure projects were inflated, with the difference going to Hamas.
Straw companies — two farmers’ associations and a fake charity for the benefit of the injured — were established with false registers to launder money.
Unemployment payments were diverted to Hamas terrorists. El Halabi arranged for one-third of the allowances WV transfers to Gaza for the unemployed to go to members of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades. The terrorists received a larger allowance ($392 instead of $300).
Using lists of fictitious beneficiaries, $2 million a year were designated as aid for farmers and diverted to Hamas activists. El Halabi reported a larger sum than what was actually transferred to the farmers to World Vision. The difference was diverted to Hamas.
Project costs were inflated. For example, WV invested in the construction of 500 greenhouses and the preparation of land (495 acres) for agriculture. El Halabi reported to the charity that the cost was $1,000 per quarter acre, while the real cost was $700. The difference – $300 per quarter acre – was transferred to Hamas.
In their 2014 report titled “Filling in the Blanks — Documenting Missing Dimensions in UN and NGO Investigations of the Gaza Conflict,” NGO Monitor and UN Watch have cautioned: “The willingness of World Vision workers to openly discuss these issues is exceptional; however, the answers leave little doubt as to World Vision’s willingness to negotiate and coordinate with armed groups. This raises questions as to whether the group would prevent components of its aid from being misappropriated by terrorist organizations, if it felt that taking a stand would jeopardize the organization’s ability to continue its operations in a given area.”
A delegation of 11 ambassadors to the United Nations received a special security briefing Tuesday on issues unique to Israel.
The briefing was held in part while flying in helicopters over the country with Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon — some of it while viewing the country’s most narrow portion, the central Israeli “waistline.”
The delegation is in Israel on a visit to the Jewish State. The group was taken to Israel’s northern border with Lebanon to receive a briefing on threats facing the country on that front.
They also traveled to Ziv Medical Center in Tzefat, where the ambassadors were able to see for themselves the medical assistance rendered to Syrian refugees.
In addition, the delegation was flown to the south, where they visited the Gaza Belt communities of Sderot and Nahal Oz.
Residents of those communities shared their challenges of living under the constant threat of rocket and mortar attacks and the fear of terrorist tunnels snaking their way towards their communities.