Hamas Declines to Make Gaza “the Singapore of the Middle East”

Feb. 22 2017

Last week Avigdor Lieberman, the Israeli defense minister, proposed building both an airport and a seaport in Gaza and creating industrial zones that would employ thousands of locals—if Hamas agreed to demilitarization and the return of the bodies of Israeli soldiers. The rulers of the Strip quickly turned down the deal. Bassam Tawil comments:

Only Israel has ever made such an offer to Hamas. Such a plan would vastly improve the living conditions of Gaza’s population. . . . A seaport and an airport would place the Gaza Strip on the global map and open it to investors not only from Israel but from many other countries as well. [While] Arab and Islamic states . . . are unlikely to rush to invest in Gaza because, by and large, they despise the Palestinians, . . . there is no shortage of investors in the West who, if given the opportunity and the proper political climate, would not hesitate to invest their money in the Gaza Strip.

Sadly for the residents of Gaza, none of this is going to happen. Their leaders in Hamas, some of whom have accumulated large fortunes and are living comfortable lives in oil-rich Gulf countries, are not interested in alleviating their people’s misery. On the contrary, Hamas wants its people suffering, as bitter Palestinians are perfect candidates for recruitment to the jihad against Israel, the Jews, and the West. . . .

“If we wanted to turn the Gaza Strip into Singapore, we could have achieved that with our own hands,” declared the senior Hamas official Mahmoud Zahar. . . . Hamas deserves credit for one thing: its honesty concerning its intentions to destroy Israel and kill as many Jews as possible. Hamas does not want 40,000 new jobs for the poor unemployed Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. It would rather see these unemployed Palestinians join its ranks and become soldiers in its quest to replace Israel with an Islamic empire.

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Read more at Gatestone

More about: Avigdor Lieberman, Gaza Strip, Hamas, Israel & Zionism, Palestinian economy

Iran’s Responsibility for West Bank Terror

On Friday, a Palestinian stabbed an Israeli police officer and was then shot by another officer after trying to grab his rifle. Commenting on the many similar instances of West Bank-based terror during the past several months, Amit Saar, a senior IDF intelligence officer, predicted that the violence will likely grow worse in the coming year. Yoni Ben Menachem explains the Islamic Republic’s role in fueling this wave of terrorism:

The escape of six terrorists from Gilboa prison in September 2021 was the catalyst for the establishment of new terrorist groups in the northern West Bank, according to senior Islamic Jihad officials. The initiative to establish new armed groups was undertaken by Palestinian Islamic Jihad in coordination with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, implementing the strategy of Qassem Suleimani—the commander of the Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guards who was assassinated in Iraq by the U.S.—of using proxies to achieve the goals of expansion of the Iranian regime.

After arming Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza, Iran moved in the last year to support the new terrorist groups in the northern West Bank. Iran has been pouring money into the Islamic Jihad organization, which began to establish new armed groups under the name of “Battalions,” which also include terrorists from other organizations such as Fatah, Hamas, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. First, the “Jenin Battalion” was established in the city of Jenin, followed the “Nablus Battalion.”

Despite large-scale arrest operation by the IDF and the Shin Bet in the West Bank, Islamic Jihad continues to form new terrorist groups, including the “Tulkarem Battalion,” the “Tubas Battalion,” and the “Balata Battalion” in the Balata refugee camp.

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Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Palestinian terror, West Bank