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

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

 

As Vladimir Putin Sidles Up to the Mullahs, the Threat to the U.S. and Israel Grows

On Tuesday, Russia launched an Iranian surveillance satellite into space, which the Islamic Republic will undoubtedly use to increase the precision of its military operations against its enemies. The launch is one of many indications that the longstanding alliance between Moscow and Tehran has been growing stronger and deeper since the Kremlin’s escalation in Ukraine in February. Nicholas Carl, Kitaneh Fitzpatrick, and Katherine Lawlor write:

Presidents Vladimir Putin and Ebrahim Raisi have spoken at least four times since the invasion began—more than either individual has engaged most other world leaders. Putin visited Tehran in July 2022, marking his first foreign travel outside the territory of the former Soviet Union since the war began. These interactions reflect a deepening and potentially more balanced relationship wherein Russia is no longer the dominant party. This partnership will likely challenge U.S. and allied interests in Europe, the Middle East, and around the globe.

Tehran has traditionally sought to purchase military technologies from Moscow rather than the inverse. The Kremlin fielding Iranian drones in Ukraine will showcase these platforms to other potential international buyers, further benefitting Iran. Furthermore, Russia has previously tried to limit Iranian influence in Syria but is now enabling its expansion.

Deepening Russo-Iranian ties will almost certainly threaten U.S. and allied interests in Europe, the Middle East, and around the globe. Iranian material support to Russia may help the Kremlin achieve some of its military objectives in Ukraine and eastern Europe. Russian support of Iran’s nascent military space program and air force could improve Iranian targeting and increase the threat it poses to the U.S. and its partners in the Middle East. Growing Iranian control and influence in Syria will enable the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps [to use its forces in that country] to threaten U.S. military bases in the Middle East and our regional partners, such as Israel and Turkey, more effectively. Finally, Moscow and Tehran will likely leverage their deepening economic ties to mitigate U.S. sanctions.

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Read more at Critical Threats

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Russia, U.S. Security, Vladimir Putin