Ghazi Hamad, the deputy foreign minister of the Hamas government in Gaza, met on Thursday with a delegation of diplomats and journalists from Turkey who are currently on a visit to Gaza.
Hamas continue to claim that Gaza is under an "Israeli siege", despite the fact that Israel allows the transfer of humanitarian aid into the region and allows Hamas to host visiting leaders and activists.
Hamad told the visitors from Turkey that the Gaza government is looking forward to the upcoming visit by Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, given the important role played by Turkey both in the region and in the international arena and given the support it expresses for Palestinian Authority Arabs.
Hamad accused Israel of violating the terms of the ceasefire signed in late 2012 after Operation Pillar of Defense, claiming that Israel harasses Gazan fishermen and farmers and prevents the entry of goods into Gaza.
Israel reduced the fishing zone off the coast of Gaza to three nautical miles in March, after terrorists from Gaza fired rockets at southern Israel. In May it extended the fishing zone back to six nautical miles.
Earlier this week, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon ordered that the Kerem Shalom goods crossing, reserved for trade between Israel and Gaza, be closed until further notice. This, too, was in response to a barrage of rockets fired by Gaza terrorists at Israel on Sunday night.
On Wednesday morning, however, the government decided to reopen the crossing.
Arab affairs expert Dalit Halevi notes that Hamad's arguments reflect the dual position of Hamas. On the one hand Hamas does not recognize any formal agreements signed between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, advocates for the destruction of Israel and carries out terrorist attacks, but on the other hand it complains about the lack of implementation of the agreements with Israel.
Halevi also notes that Hamas’s dual position is reflected in its complaints about an Israeli “siege”. On the one hand, the group calls for a complete boycott of goods produced in Israel and supports the BDS movement, while accusing Israel of preventing the entry of goods from Israel into Gaza.
Meanwhile, it is none other than Hamas itself that tries to punish the residents of Gaza by attempting to reduce the scope of Israeli goods entering the region. Hamas does this because it is angry that Israel and the Palestinian Authority cooperate over what is transferred into Gaza, ignoring Hamas which rules the region with an iron fist.