This past week the nations of this planet met in Cairo and pledges almost five and a half billion, that’s billion with a ‘B’, dollars to rebuild Hamas and make a show of rebuilding Gaza. The entire efforts to address the Ebola outbreak, which is threatening to blossom into a world-wide pandemic, have to date not cleared the hoped for one billion dollars as it has now threatened to spread out of Western Africa. Meanwhile, Israel shipped over six-hundred-tons of construction materials to Gaza which included six-hundred-tons of cement including fifty truckloads of aggregate as well as ten truckloads of steel. To date Hamas and Islamic Jihad have already spent the past two-plus months since before the late August ceasefire rebuilding in Gaza, rebuilding their tunnels and bunkers including the command bunker that is located beneath Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza and the infiltration tunnels out of Gaza under the separation barrier at the border and into Israel. All of this is going on while the World Health Agency healthcare workers are being felled by inadequate equipment to prevent their contracting Ebola. Thus far three-hundred-seventy-five have contracted Ebola (67 in Guinea, 184 in Liberia, 11 in Nigeria, and 113 in Sierra Leone) of which two-hundred-eleven have succumbed to the deadly disease (35 in Guinea, 89 in Liberia, five in Nigeria, and 82 in Sierra Leone).
The comparisons are literally endless. One could point to the fact that so little monies have been raised to actually stop a potential pandemic in its tracks while the world once again ran to rearm Hamas, allow for the reconstruction of the Hamas bunker and tunnel system, pay for the replacement of the nearly exhausted and destroyed rocket arsenal, provide bigger and more lethal rockets and potentially, this time, guided missiles increasing the deadly potential of Hamas barrages and resetting the stage in Gaza for another destructive conflict possibly in even less than the two year cycle which has existed since Hamas took control of Gaza in a bloody coup killing the majority of Fatah and Palestinian Authority forces and hierarchy in the process. Hamas’s murderous ways are not restricted to killing Israelis; they also freely murder Gazans as well as Palestinian Authority personnel and Fatah leaders. Immediately after the final ceasefire with Israel was initiated and even before the rebuilding of the tunnels and bunkers had begun, Hamas murdered over twenty people in open and very public executions without even the semblance of a trial. These summary executions were taken against some of the remaining Fatah members and others who were accused of assisting Israel with evidence as flimsy as that their cellphone had an Israeli SIM card. The reasons given for such brutality being committed in the open and even going so far as to perform a number of the executions in the public square before Gazans of all ages, both men and women both old and young including children, was simply to reinforce their authority at the end of the conflict sending the message that Hamas is still strong and all-powerful in Gaza and that the people need continue to fear and obey all Hamas edicts or face an immediate death sentence possibly carried out on the spot with no need for any trials. This too is part and parcel of what the world just financed for the people in Gaza instead of attempting to improve their lives.
The almost five and a half billion dollars raised for presumably the rebuilding of Gaza will also be used to install built-in explosive and other booby-traps built right into the buildings’ walls, floors and ceilings such as were put within the actual structure of one United Nations UNWRA run health clinics which also housed one of the myriad of tunnel entrances. This particular clinic was detonated as IDF soldiers had entered the clinic and were preparing to investigate the tunnels below before deciding whether to destroy them. Five IDF soldiers were caught in the fatal range of the blast and collapsing structure. Subsequent investigations revealed the blast came from within the structure of the walls of this clinic. These explosives had been emplaced when the building was built thus planning to utilize this healthcare clinic as a trapped building even realizing, or especially because of, the probability it might become a shelter for Gazans during any conflict. As this form of explosive booby-trap worked so efficiently and also has the potential of placing innocent Gazans in jeopardy while they are in the proximity of IDF soldiers which could be used to impart the story to give the media that Israelis had committed a suicide attack on the innocent Gazans who were unfortunate enough to be within a United Nations healthcare clinic which had the explosives installed during its construction for just this purpose. The fact that the Palestinians, both in Gaza and with the Palestinian Authority in Judea and Samaria (West Bank), have a habit of projecting their misdeeds onto the Israelis in an attempt to blur any differentiating facts or methods of operations is a well-established tool in their arsenal of media manipulation and other forms of propaganda.
There is one more pernicious side to the funding of the presumed rebuilding of Gaza despite, or possibly because of, the knowledge that as much as half of the construction materials and two-thirds of the monies will end up being utilized to rebuilding the Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terror entities’ infrastructure, weapon stores and ammunition supplies; and that is that it sends the message to these terrorist entities that their actions and constantly repetitive assaults on Israel are fully and completely backed and approved by the rest of the world. It sends the message that the world has the terrorist minions’ backs and is prepared to rebuild their capabilities and rearm and redeploy not only the levels of weapons they had before the conflict but to provide sufficient support to arm them with even bigger and better weapons’ systems for the next round. The camouflaging these efforts under the guise of reconstructing Gaza and rebuilding the homes, clinics, schools and other public structures only fools the consciences of those who make the decisions to provide such aid. There will be no study, honest or otherwise, into how much of the destruction in Gaza was remaining from the last conflict approximately two years ago for which a previous confab was held and funds poured into Gaza and to Hamas for distributing. There was no study after that conflict to determine how much of the apparent destruction was remaining from the previous conflict of two years prior and which had its gala event to ‘rebuild’ Gaza and repair the lives of the Gazan people. This compulsive willingness of the world to rush to the aid of Hamas and company with funds beyond their wildest dreams, well OK, maybe within their most grand and wildest dreams, sends the message that terrorism pays and pays well, but seemingly only if your target is Israel. All over the rest of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) there are efforts to destroy or at least degrade terror entities such as al-Qaeda, ISIS, Boko Haram and others but in Gaza, Judea and Samaria (West Bank) and Lebanon to a lesser extent for Hezballah the world rushes in with their ‘humanitarian’ aid to reconstruct the ‘civilian’ infrastructure always getting the caveat that none of the monies will be siphoned off for terrorist functions and uses like there occurred last time because this time the threats that there will be no repeat of funding should the same actions be repeated, the exact same solemn promises that were given last time right before the monies were distributed with one third going for rearming and rebuilding the terror infrastructure, one third into the pockets of the elite and the leadership and a final third for a façade of reconstruction which will somehow come up short and require additional funds within the year which will also be divided up as noted. This is not a world repeating the same mistakes hoping for a different outcome, that would be insanity. This is a world giving funding assured and comfortable that much of the donations will be diverted for nefarious purposes, some for enriching the leadership and those who need to be rewarded for their efforts in support of giving the terrorists an acceptable front to place before the world and some more for the necessities for further terrorist efforts against Israel and perhaps some scraps will remain to make a small effort at rebuilding such that the efforts will warrant further funding. It has never ceased to amaze me how many times the sewage treatment plant in Gaza has been given the necessary funding for its repair and even a couple of times for its replacement yet it still overflows every year during the fall and winter rains. It still is minimally if at all functioning and is probably poised to overflow and malfunction here again fairly soon which will give Hamas and the Palestinian Authority an additional reason to beg for more aid. This sanctioning of the terror war against Israel cannot end before the world comes to grips with the fact that as long as Israel is able to defend against the terrorist entities, Israel will not disappear no matter how much the world desires such, sorry.
The funding of the terrorists this time around had a nice new twist to the story, a unity government free from the influences of terrorists such as Hamas. Never mind that one of the members of this technocrat unity government is the former utilities chairman for Gaza and the Hamas government and that though technically without power, Mahmoud Abbas still appears to be standing over all including the acting head of the unity government. The world also placed their full faith and honor on the single meeting of the unity government in Gaza a few short days before the Cairo fundraiser convention aiming to give just that appearance, as it was announced and explained by Hamas why they permitted this obvious challenge to their sovereignty over Gaza. This thinly veiled hoax should not have fooled anybody with more than two brain cells but somehow managed to fool some of the most brilliant, educated, savvy and knowledgeable people the world has to offer. People such as the Lady Catherine Ashton, United States Secretary of State John F. Kerry, Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Jude, Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende, Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid bin Mohammed al-Attiyah, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and of course Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri along with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi. Delegates representing some fifty nations and twenty regional and international NGOs (non-governmental organizations), many of which joined in on the condemnations of Israel which peppered the discourse of the conference. Some blamed Israel for being unwilling to make the necessary sacrifices to allow for a viable Palestinian state which would exist side-by-side with Israel in peace and security. Others placed the blame for making this convention necessary on the blatant Israeli aggressions against Gaza and Israeli use of disproportional force. Some would denounce the “international silence” that surrounded Gaza’s destruction. This added a little flavor from the Durban conferences to the event.
Everyone attending the event in Cairo would have denied their understanding that the Palestinian unity government will have served its purpose and was facing being dissolved in relatively short notice. The unity government would likely meet its demise far more quickly than it took to bring it to life as it required months of debates and arguments spread throughout the many meetings, many of which included the most base and vulgar threats. The initial need for the unity government was to allow for a path which Hamas could utilize to take control of Judea and Samaria as well as Gaza but without the need to resort to violence. That need presented the Hamas leadership a problem as polls indicated a neck-and-neck race with the outcome undeterminable until the vote. Hamas could not trust leaving such an important step for their control on all of the Palestinian areas to the people so they proceeded to campaigning against Israel, literally. Hamas knew that if they were to initiate a conflict with Israel and thus be provided a center platform before the media and the world they could sharply influence the vote by casting Abbas as too timid and fearful of the Israelis to properly reach the Palestinians’ rightful victory of extinguishing Israel and founding Palestine from the (Jordan) River to the (Mediterranean) Sea. They also realized that as they had yielded power granting Abbas to lead the unity government that the world would necessarily need to lay much of the blame for the conflict on Abbas despite the fact that they needed to address Hamas in order to reach any ceasefire or treaty. The conflict did attest that Hamas was the strong horse willing to strike Israel and challenge the IDF but the propaganda victory did not suffice in making all of the top Hamas leadership happy. Haniyeh was satisfied that Hamas had done enough for him to win any election but Mashaal did not see this in his cards. This led to Mashaal initiating his Plan ‘B’ which would have removed Abbas, Fatah and all of the non-Hamas leadership of the Palestinian Authority and replace them with Hamas members and leadership. This was the coup attempt which Israeli security, Shin Bet, discovered as they covertly surveyed the field of battle and all the other doors which might be opened. They detected the door for a Hamas attempted coup open and with the assistance of the IDF arrested most of the instigators and all of the leadership which was within Israeli zones of operations. This saved Abbas who also used the foiled coup attempt to force Mashaal to make further concessions threatening to reveal his role in the coup thus poisoning the political field for Mashaal and potentially Hamas as well. This and other intuitions show that Hamas will not likely take control of the top seat of power in the Palestinian Authority, that being Chairman Abbas’s position which he plans on keeping until death does he depart, and that is exactly how he will leave his office and Hamas realizes this. Abbas has cancelled all schedules for elections for his position almost countless times and any thought of such an election playing out now is delusional. It is the fact that Abbas will not relinquish his seat of power as he realized that without this power he will likely be murdered and the fact that Hamas is just fine with that necessity and would murder Abbas in the blink of an eye to gain power themselves. Such is the standoff which is as firm as any rocks on which to bash and shatter any unity government. And yes, we have all been here before. At the moment of this writing the situation is that Abbas will only leave his seat of power over Fatah and the Palestinian Authority feet first and wearing a toe tag and Hamas cannot and will not allow any unity government to proceed without elections being held for Abbas’s seat as chairman and even should they lose, no matter how unlikely that would seem, they would continue to pursue taking complete control and until then they will retain their power in Gaza. This would mean that the unity government’s days are numbered and will meet its demise as the monies from the pledges start rolling in. Hamas stands assured in their perceptions that very few if any of the pledging nations would make their payments actually contingent on Abbas being the supervisor and guiding hand over all the funding thus denying Hamas their use of the majority of the funds for their own ends. Thus dies another unity government and we just got to know you.
Beyond the Cusp