did Hamas attack the Givati forces, kill two soldiers and capture 2nd.
Lt. Hadar Goldin Friday morning in violation of the US-UN brokered
72-hour cease fire?
acted as it did, because it thinks it can get away with it. And Hamas
thinks that it can get away with it because Hamas is convinced that it
will win this war.
as long as Hamas is convinced that it will win this war, it will
continue to attack, no matter what its situation is on the ground in
Gaza. It will continue to attack Israel no matter what Israel does.
a consequence, there is no way for Israel to disengage. There can never
be a ceasefire with Hamas for as long as Hamas is convinced that it
will win this war.
understand why Hamas is convinced that it will win, it is necessary to
understand first why Hamas is fighting in the first place.
Hamas went to war with one goal, to reopen Gaza to the world.
is fighting to open Gaza’s border with Egypt, to end Israel’s maritime
blockade of the Gaza coast, and to reinstate its lines of finance.
Hamas’s leadership, snug in their multi-million dollar villas in Qatar
and well-equipped bunkers under Shifa Hospital in Gaza City are that
they will achieve their goal. They will win.
And as a consequence, they will not stop attacking Israel.
Hamas’s goal of opening Gaza to the world has nothing to do with
helping the people of Gaza. Hamas wants open borders so that it can
import arms and the means to rebuild its tunnels. It wants to open the
borders so that it can replenish its coffers.
In other words, Hamas’s purpose in fighting this war is to ensure that Hamas can keep fighting.
From a financial perspective, it isn’t simply that Hamas is expecting
to receive cash payments from Qatar, Turkey, Iran and the Palestinian
Authority. Hamas runs Gaza. Hamas is the tax authority.
As Dr. Moshe Elad explained to Globes, Hamas siphons money off every
dollar in aid transferred to Gaza because it controls all the aid
pipelines. Every dollar of international humanitarian aid to UNWRA and
every other organization goes through that pipeline and part of the
funds are transferred to Hamas.
Hamas taxes all businesses in Gaza. And it taxes all imports.
According to Elad, Hamas levied a flat tax of $2000 on every car load of
goods smuggled into Gaza from Egypt in addition to 25 percent of the
value of every shipment.
As a result, all economic activity in Gaza funds Hamas.
In other words, as long as Hamas rules Gaza, all aid to Gaza is aid
to Hamas. All economic activity is hostage to Hamas. All of Gaza is
hostage to Hamas.
The reason that Hamas is certain that when the war ends, it will
achieve its goal of opening Gaza’s borders is simple. The United States
The official position of the US government is that a ceasefire
between Israel and Hamas will involve opening Hamas’s borders to the
world. This position was spelled out by Secretary of State John Kerry in
the draft cease fire that he sent to Israel last Friday.
Kerry’s draft said that a permanent cease fire agreement must
include, “arrangements to secure the opening of the crossings, allow the
entry of goods and people and… transfer funds to Gaza for the payment
of salaries for public employees…”
This position was reiterated by President Barack Obama in his
telephone conversation with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu last
Sunday. According the White House’s press release of that phone call,
“Building on Secretary Kerry’s efforts, the President made clear the
strategic imperative of instituting an immediate, unconditional
humanitarian ceasefire that ends hostilities now and leads to a
permanent cessation of hostilities based on the November 2012 ceasefire
agreement… The President underscored the enduring importance of…
alleviating Gaza’s humanitarian crisis, and enacting a sustainable
ceasefire that both allows Palestinians in Gaza to lead normal lives and
addresses Gaza’s long-term development and economic needs.”
Lt. Hadar Goldin was captured, Secretary of
State John Kerry called the Qatari and Turkish foreign ministers to ask
them to get Hamas to release him. Kerry’s move demonstrated that the US
continues to view Hamas’s chief state sponsors as the most attractive
allies in achieving a sustainable ceasefire. As Hamas’s sponsors, Qatar
and Turkey insist that Hamas’s demand for open borders be met.
Under these circumstances, Hamas has no reason to stop fighting.
As a result there are only two options, moving forward.
The first option is for Israel to retake control over Gaza. The aim of the operation would be to decimate Hamas physically.
Such an operation will be prolonged. It will result in the deaths of
thousands of Gazan civilians, hostages as they are, to Hamas.
It will result as well in massive losses of IDF soldiers.
In short, it will be a very painful, heartbreaking process. But it
will make it impossible for Hamas to enjoy open borders and so continue
The other option is for the US to credibly reverse its position and
oppose any opening of Gaza’s borders for as long as Hamas remains in
charge. For this to work, it is not sufficient for the Obama
administration to retract its current position and publically oppose the
opening of Gaza’s borders. Given the administration’s track record,
Hamas’s leadership won’t believe that the policy reversal is real.
Strong Congressional action is also required.
The relevant committees in both houses must begin serious
examinations of all manner of US funding to the Palestinians and how
this money serves Hamas. Such an investigation should focus on UNWRA.
During this war – and in previous Hamas campaigns against Israel – we
have seen Hamas use UNWRA schools as missile storage sites and missile
launching pads. This week three soldiers were killed trying to seal a
tunnel whose entry shaft was located in an UNWRA clinic booby trapped
with over a ton of explosives built into one of the walls.
At a minimum, this tells us that UNWRA is subservient to Hamas. All
UNWRA installations and personnel are controlled by Hamas. As a result,
UNWRA is a subsidiary – willing or unwilling – of Hamas and all funds to
UNWRA must be suspended until Hamas is no longer in control of Gaza.
Again, the central point is that for as long as Hamas exercises
control over Gaza, everyone in Gaza and every entity operating in Gaza
is controlled by Hamas. All assistance to Gaza assists Hamas and
communicates the message that Hamas will win the war.
As a result, the only way for anyone to help the people of Gaza is to
free them from Hamas. And the only way to free them from Hamas is to
After Hamas took over Gaza in 2007, in keeping with binding UN
Security Council resolution 1373 from 2001, Israel imposed a maritime
naval blockade of the Gaza coast to prevent material aid to the
terrorist organization from getting through.
The blockade is the most passive way possible for Israel to abide by
the stipulations of the resolution that prohibits nations from providing
assistance to territories controlled by terrorists.
Rather than support Israel’s efforts, the Obama administration has
adopted Hamas’s language and refers to the blockade as “a siege,”
intimating that there is something illegal about it.
It would be reasonable for the Armed Services Committees of both
houses to pass resolutions calling for the US Navy to assist Israel in
maintaining the blockade. They can also bring the commanders of the US
Navy before them to testify regarding how the US is or can assist Israel
in sustaining the blockade.
Such moves would symbolically communicate US commitment to keeping
Gaza’s borders sealed. Certainly they would communicate to Turkey that
its intention to take action to break Israel’s blockade is strenuously
opposed by the US Congress.
And this brings us to another key move that Congress can make. Given
the active support Turkey and Qatar are providing to Hamas in its
terrorist war against Israel, it is imperative that Congress begin
questioning nature of the Turkish and Qatari regimes and the legality of
US military and other strategic ties with these two state sponsors of
Hamas and al Qaeda.
In the case of Qatar, a good place to start is for members of both
houses to follow the lead of House Chief Deputy Whip Rep. Peter Roskam
who sent a letter to Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew Thursday
questioning US diplomatic ties with Qatar in light of its massive
financial support for Hamas and its facilitation of the funding of al
Qaeda affiliates ISIS and the al Nusra Front.
Members of the Senate Armed Services committee can exercise oversight
and state their intention to cancel through legislation the $11 billion
dollar arms deal with Qatar that the Pentagon announced last week. In
light of what the US now knows about Qatar’s central role as the banker
and bankroller of Hamas and other Islamist terror groups, continued
military sales to Qatar may well be prohibited under the Arms Export
As for Turkey, under the dictatorial regime of Turkey’s Islamist
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, NATO member Turkey has joined
Qatar, Iran and Syria as a massive state sponsor of terrorism. It funds
and provides other material support for Hamas. It is a major funder of
al Nusra and ISIS.
To date, Turkey has largely avoided Congressional scrutiny for its
support for terrorism. As a member of NATO its forces continue to train
with US forces and Turkey is contracted to receive a hundred F-35
warplanes from the US over the next several years.
With Turkey actively involved in Hamas’s war against Israel, the time
has come for Turkey’s support for terrorism to be scrutinized, with an
eye towards designating Turkey as a state sponsor of terrorism, or at a
minimum, demoting its position in NATO. Relevant committees in both
houses of Congress should hold formal hearings about Turkey’s support
Hamas is a genocidal terrorist organization dedicated to the
annihilation of the Jewish people and our state as a first step towards
Islamic world domination.
It is waging war against Israel because it believes that the US
supports its goal of opening Gaza’s borders so that Hamas can continue
As its bipartisan resolutions expressing support for Israel issued
this week made clear yet again, the US Congress shares Israel’s concerns
for its security, as well as its concern for the wellbeing of the
people of Gaza who are being held hostage by Hamas.
In order to minimize suffering of the people of Israel and Gaza, and
to ensure Israel’s national security and US national security interests
in the Middle East, the US must join Israel in its goal of defeating
Hamas. To that end, both the administration and the Congress must openly
and credibly join Israel in rejecting any cease fire arrangement that
provides for the opening of Gaza’s physical and financial borders so
long as Hamas remains in control of the area.
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