Anglican Samizdat

February 9, 2009

The compassionate financing of Hamas

Filed under: Politics,The fall of the West — David Jenkins @ 5:15 pm
Tags: ,

Remember this, when the BBC was excoriated by every right left thinking zealot for not broadcasting advertisements asking for aid for Gaza?

The BBC’s instincts were right:

The Robbing of Gaza

In a rare admission of Hamas’ wrong-doing, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (“UNRWA”) promptly condemned Hamas in a sternly worded press release for seizing its humanitarian supplies by force on February 3, 2009. For once, UNRWA did not deem it necessary, in the name of moral equivalency, to attack Israel at the same time.

The UN Secretary General’s deputy spokesperson Marie Okabe reinforced UNRWA’s condemnation of Hamas by essentially paraphrasing its press release at a briefing held on February 4th at UN headquarters that I attended. I looked around at other peoples’ faces in the briefing room and some appeared as surprised as I was that, for the first time, we were witnessing UNRWA and the Secretary General’s office actually criticizing Hamas alone in such strong terms. However, the matter-of-factness with which the Secretary General’s deputy spokesperson read her statement – as opposed to the anger we always hear from UN spokespersons whenever Israel is criticized – conveyed a rather nonchalant attitude toward the whole thing as if it were an unfortunate but isolated event. Of course it is anything but.

The incident that brought this development about involved the confiscation of over 3500 blankets and 406 food parcels by police affiliated with Hamas, who broke into an UNRWA warehouse in the Shatti beach refugee camp and seized the aid supplies by force. The supplies were to be distributed by UNRWA to five hundred families in Gaza. The confiscation took place after UNRWA staff had earlier refused to accede to Hamas’ demand and hand over the aid supplies to the Hamas-run Ministry of Social Affairs. The reason for the refusal, UNRWA said, was to ensure that the assistance would actually reach the intended beneficiaries.

Hamas wants total control over all aid – supplies and money – in order to enhance its claims to legitimacy and to bestow favors to its supporters in Gaza while depriving its enemies of any assistance.

Hamas has no interest in relieving the suffering of the civilians under its rule. In fact, Hamas prevented its own people from reaching lsraeli medical facilities set up just outside Gaza. It has regularly intercepted humanitarian convoys and stolen food items that had been donated for free distribution to needy Gazans. Instead, they were sold in the black market. After using Palestinian civilians as human shields during the conflict with Israel, Hamas is now stealing aid intended for suffering women and children whose images Hamas wants to continue using for propaganda purposes.

Another example of Hamas using its own people’s suffering to further its own evil ends – and how the West fell for it yet again.


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