Transfer of goods to Gaza
Transfer of goods to GazaCOGAT
Hamas is once again stirring up tensions with Israel by organizing violent riots along the border with Israel and, by resuming its scorching the earth campaign by the use of incendiary balloons that on Monday caused 9 fires in the Gaza belt.

The Islamist terror group is also playing the well-known victim role while telling lies about its abilities to provide basic supplies to the residents of Gaza and to rebuild the enclave. At the same time, a German newspaper finally dispelled the myth that Hamas is unable to provide humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza and repair the damage caused by the war with Israel last May.

The new round of violence began last Saturday when Hamas organized a new day of rage against Israel sending thousands of Palestinian Arabs, most of them young adults, to the border with Israel in Gaza.

Initially, Hamas said the new ‘demonstrations’ became necessary because Israel refused to let the monthly cash payments of $30 million from Qatar into the Gaza Strip. However, as soon as the United Nations and Qatar, in coordination with the Israeli government, announced an agreement had been reached on resuming and increasing the financial aid to residents of Gaza, the excuse for the day of rage changed.

Hamas now said the violent riots were meant to commemorate the attempt by an Australian tourist to burn down the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem all the way back in August 1969.

So, on Saturday, August 8, the Israeli security forces had to deal with new violent riots after Hamas on Wednesday attacked Israel by firing a rocket for the first time since the end of the 11-day-war at the end of May this year.

During the riots, young Hamas operatives threw stones and improvised explosive devices at the Israeli security forces as well as other objects such as Molotov cocktails. They then were ordered to storm the security fence while using children and women as human shields.

Since the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the Israeli Border Police were instructed to fire rubber bullets and not to use live fire because of the presence of women and children among the Hamas operatives, the rioters were able to reach the security fence which in some places is a high concrete wall.

On the other side of the border fence, Israeli security personnel used holes in the wall to aim their rifles at the mob where after Hamas operatives tried to snatch the rifles of three soldiers and Border Police officers.

When the attempt failed one of them pulled a gun and shot Border Police sniper Sgt. Barel Hadaria Shmueli in the head from point-blank. The Israeli police officer was then taken to Soroka Medical Center in the city of Beer Sheva where he is still in life-threatening condition after several operations.

Hamas now plans another day of rage this coming Wednesday because it is not satisfied with the agreement between the UN and Qatar and still wants Israel to allow the original cash payments by a Qatari envoy who brought suitcases full of dollars into Gaza each month.

That was how it worked before the mini-war in May, but since then, a new Israeli government came into office and partly changed the policy vis-a-vis the terror groups in Gaza.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett had initially said that the cash payments by Qatar would end since Hamas seized the funds and used them to further build up its military apparatus. Bennett and alternate PM Yair Lapid also promised the Israeli public that any agreement about another way of distributing Qatari funds in Gaza would be conditional on the release of the bodies of two IDF soldiers who were killed in the 2014 Gaza war and two Israelis who are held captive by Hamas.

Apparently, the two leaders changed their minds, promising to address the issue of the release of the bodies of the IDF soldiers and the captive Israeli citizens in any future ceasefire agreement with Hamas.

Hamas, for its part, apparently senses Israeli weakness and demands other additional measures that officially would make life easier for the population of Gaza, but also for the terror organizations there.

For this reason, Hamas demands the end of the “Israeli siege” and the opening of all border crossings so that goods can freely enter and exit Gaza. Hamas also announced that the "Sword of Jerusalem battle" against Israel will continue until "Jerusalem and the al-Aqsa mosque are liberated”.

The Palestinian terror organizations in Gaza dubbed the rocket onslaught in May the “Sword of Jerusalem Battle” in order to show that they and not the Palestinian Authority are the real guardians of the Muslim holy sites in Israel’s capital.

The battle for Jerusalem cost a lot of money, however, and that’s why Hamas is using its international victim status to get more donations from Muslim countries.

The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) offshoot not only got money from Qatar, a country that is part pf the Muslim Brotherhood axis currently led by Turkish president Tayyip Recep Erdogan and his AKP party, but also from the Islamist regime in Iran that contributes $30 million monthly to Hamas in Gaza.

None of the Iranian money goes to the residents of Gaza, however, since Hamas and Iran are working in tandem to rebuild the military of both Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Iran’s official proxy in Gaza.

Hamas has always claimed that the poverty in Gaza and the impossibility to rebuild buildings and infrastructure destroyed by the Israeli military during the wars with Israel was due to its lack of resources.

That has now proven to be a blatant lie after the German newspaper Die Welt last week published an exposé showing that Hamas had at least $ 550 million at its disposal at the end of the war in May.

The terror group possesses a staggering $500 million worth of shares in 40 international companies in the Middle East and North Africa, according to the German media outlet.

“The balance sheet also contains coded references about 49 Million US Dollars that went from the portfolio into Hamas’ coffers, an estimated 40% of which went to military/terror expenses,” Die Welt reported.

With that sum alone, Hamas could have built 1,405 houses, 310 medical clinics, 114 mosques, and 98 schools in the Gaza Strip, according to Israeli intelligence estimates.

The $500 million portfolio is enough to repair all the damage caused by the missile war against Israel at the end of May, according to an earlier estimate by the World Bank.

The report by Die Welt reporter Clemens Wergin was news to Israelis, but the Israeli government must have had knowledge about Hamas’ fortune.

However, as we saw last week the government in Jerusalem is again caving in to the international pressure about the so-called non-existing ‘blockade’ of Gaza and seems to have no clear strategy in the war of attrition that Hamas and PIJ are conducting against the Jewish state.