Sami Abu Zuhri
Sami Abu ZuhriAbed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90

The Hamas terrorist organization on Tuesday accused the Palestinian Authority (PA) of stealing international funds allocated to rebuilding Gaza, following the destruction caused during Operation Protective Edge last summer.

Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri was quoted by the Palestinian Arab Ma'an News Agency as saying the theft of funds was acknowledged by ministers in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) unity government.

According to Zuhri, ministers in the unity government "admitted that the money allocated for Gaza reconstruction was being added to the PA budget." 

The PA is wallowing in at least $4.8 billion in debt due to epidemic mismanagement and corruption, with a massive amount of that debt being to Israel including over 1.4 billion shekels (over $360 million) in unpaid electric bills.

The admission "proves that the real reason behind the delay in reconstruction of Gaza is that the PA has been messing with the reconstruction money and exploiting the suffering of Gaza's people," said Zuhri.

Hamas and the PA have long been at odds even since sealing a reconciliation agreement last April that torpedoed peace talks between the PA and Israel. A key sticking point has been a wage war as Hamas demands backlogged payment for its employees from the unity government.

The PA has continued to delay that payment - apparently largely because the PA is afraid that such payments would threaten its international funding.

World nations promised the Hamas stronghold of Gaza $5.4 billion to reconstruct last October, although that money has been slow in being transferred over, with the accusation of PA theft perhaps partially explaining the delay.

Another cause may be that Hamas has already started rebuilding its terror tunnels into Israel meant to attack Israeli civilians, with cement and building supplies siphoned off for the organization's nefarious terror goals.