By Mordechai Ben-Menachem
There are now reports that Hamas “used and killed” approximately 130 Gazan children to dig the tunnels, and that the United Nations knew all about it in an official document. The purpose of the tunnels is to kill thousands of Jews.
According to captured Hamas operatives, Hamas pays families near the border “to hire” a room in their homes from which operatives then begin carefully digging a tunnel shaft within the house. When the tunnels are finished the residents are shot.
Hamas official Khaled Meshaal, who is safely based in Qatar, refused both long-term and medium-term ceasefires in favor of “a ceasefire of a few hours, so that the population in Gaza can breathe some air and stock up on necessities.” Every short term ceasefire, so far, has been a strategy to regroup to plan continued attacks on Israel. Every ceasefire so far has been violated by Hamas.
In both Gaza and the West Bank on Monday evening, Palestinians held joyous demonstrations after learning of the ten Israeli deaths, perpetrated under the cease-fire that President Obama specifically and personally demanded of Prime Minister Netanyahu.
A morning of relative calm in the Gaza Strip was shattered by a rocket aimed at Israeli civilians that fell short and struck what Gazans described as a public kindergarten. This rocket was followed by more rockets, all fired from the direction of Tel al-Hawa, a southern area of Gaza. They failed, and hit Shifa Hospital and Al-Shati refugee camp within Gaza; causing deaths of several children in Al-Shati and the damage at Shifa Hospital. Palestinians falsely blamed the incident on Israel, and Hamas then spent the day escalating attacks against Israeli targets, ultimately killing ten soldiers in three separate incidents.
The attacks put in motion what appears to be a strategic decision by Israel, announced by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a press conference also attended by Israel’s defense minister and by the IDF’s chief of staff, to target an expanded array of Hamas infrastructure.
In the three Gaza Strip operations: Protective Edge, Pillar of Defense and Cast Lead, the shekel and the Tel Aviv stock exchange tended to remain stable until the fighting was over. The stock market even managed to end the previous operations with slight gains. What differs currently is the level of economic stability seen throughout. The shekel has actually been so incredibly stable during Protective Edge that manufacturers, whose businesses benefit from a weaker shekel, called on Bank of Israeli Governor Dr. Karnit Flug to lower the interest rate to zero percent.
The Israeli defense establishment signaled it will need another week to eliminate the Hamas attack tunnels running from Gaza to within a few hundred meters of populated Israeli border communities. Activation of these tunnels was the proximate cause for the ground phase of the current conflict.
In the meantime, North Korea has agreed to supply Hamas with hundreds of rockets to replace those they have used against Israeli civilians.
Israeli military commanders in field operations within Gaza believe North Korean experts provide Hamas with expertise and advice on building the extensive network of tunnels in Gaza that has enabled fighters to move weapons without detection. Israeli drones maintain constant monitoring operation over Gaza, yet only very basic knowledge of the tunnels, and certainly no hint of their extent, was known. North Korea has what was considered the world’s most sophisticated network of tunnels running beneath the demilitarized zone with South Korea. Today this complex is rivalled by others, such as Gaza and Mexico. This expertise serves Hamas for their tunnel network.
Mahmoud Mohammed Issa Toameh, a Saudi resident originally from Tulkarm provided critical information. Toameh joined the Muslim Brotherhood over 30 years ago, joining Hamas (a part of the MB). In 2008, he served as a member of the “General Shura Council,” Hamas’ top decision-making body headed by Mashaal. “Under the guise of religious instruction, young men stay on the Temple Mount day and night,” Toameh told Shin Bet (Israeli Internal Security). “Their real task is to be a constant presence so as to prevent Jews from going up to the Temple Mount. Hamas pays these young people a steady wage of between 4,000 and 5,000 shekels per month. ” That is some ten million shekels ($2,900,000) per month, every month. But the disturbing aspect is the source of the funding.
The United States supplies 37% of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) budget.
UNRWA is controlled (owned) by Hamas.
Qatar supplies Hamas (the organisation) with hundreds of millions of dollars, as well as funding their collection of luxury lifestyles with limitless budgets – Mashaal lives in a luxurious hotel penthouse, Haniyah owns a $24 million dollar plot.
They all (the leadership) have multiple Swiss Bank accounts (Switzerland, Austria, Cayman etcetera).
Kind of makes the old fashioned Cosa Nostra look out of date.
Mordechai Ben-Menachem is a former researcher/lecturer at Ben-Gurion University and an author of 30 book ranging from engineering to poetry. He is also an ordained clergyman and a former soldier.