And the numbers indicate that a turnaround has begun. Thus:
in a poll taken just three months ago, fully 67 percent of Palestinians supported the stabbing attacks, including 57 percent of West Bank residents. Yet in the latest poll, not only did overall support fall to 56 percent but, in the West Bank, 54 percent of respondents opposed the stabbings.Gordon explains that this cost of the stabbings -- to the West Bank Arabs -- is three-fold:
- The stabbings are devastating the Palestinian economy. According to Arab merchants, since the start of the stabbings in October, 35% of Arab businesses in East Jerusalem have been closed -- and it is likely the effect on the West Bank as a whole has been similar.
- The economic impact of the stabbings to Israel has been negligible. During the first 3 months of attacks, Israel’s economy rose by 3.9% -- an improvement over the previous nine months.
- Every Palestinian attacker has been captured or killed, with the number of Palestinians killed during attacks on Israelis equal to roughly five times the number of Israeli fatalities. With the certainty of death or imprisonment, there is a limit to how many people are willing to volunteer for these attacks.
This allows Hamas to continue to incite hatred and terrorist attacks against Israel without having to face any of the consequences.
|Screenshot of Hamas video encouraging stabbing of Jews|
Of course, such exploitation by the Hamas terrorists is not new, as they regularly exploit the Gazans under their rule as well.
Avi Issacharoff writes that Hamas uses tax money, donations from well-meaning countries eager to ease hardship for Gazans, to fund its military build-up
A prime example is the homes being built for the approximately 17,000 families whose homes were destroyed during Operation Protective Edge in 2014. The homes are being donated by Qatar and a new neighborhood, paid for by Qatar, is being named "Hamad City" in honor of the father of the present ruler of Qatar. Hamas created a lottery to select residents for the 1,040 new units.
So far, so good.
The catch is that Hamas requires the winners to pay $40,000, claiming either that the money is needed for connecting the apartments to water and electricity or that the money is being used as a donation for those still homeless. Considering the rate of unemployment in Gaza and that the average person makes $174 a month, the price is stiff.
The bottom line is that Hamas will be making $36 million off of Qatar's generosity.
And Hamas exploitation of Gaza does not stop there:
- When Israeli security forces return the vessels of Gazan fishermen who go beyond the permitted fishing boundary, over smuggling concerns, the fisherman are forced to pay a tax to Hamas to get their boats back.
Times of Israel. Illustrative: Fishing vessels are moored at Gaza City's harbor on
August 18, 2014. (AFP/Roberto Schmidt)
- Gazans are also required to pay a tax to Hamas whenever they need help from the police -- this despite the fact that salaries of the police are being paid by Iran.
- Payment is required of Gazans who need a doctor's note in order to receive emergency medical treatment either in the West Bank or in Israel. For good measure, Hamas uses these people for transferring money or messages to their operatives in the West Bank.
|Ismail Haniyeh (R) and Hamas associates on Haniyeh’s private plane |
on the way to Qatar. Source: Breaking Israel News
The Hamas terrorists who lead the government continue to benefit from the people of Gaza under their rule. Their exploitation of the people extends beyond times of war, when they use the people as human shields to protect rockets and mortars -- using concrete and other supplies to build tunnels to protect weapons instead of bunkers to protect Gazans during the wars they start. Even in times of peace, Hamas never fails to find a way to milk the people of Gaza for all they are worth. And now Hamas is only too happy to incite terrorist attacks against Israel -- attacks that will be carried out by Arabs in the West Bank, where the consequences will be felt.
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