Thousands of Palestinians attended violent-riots along the Gaza Strip’s border-fence with the Jewish state over the weekend, as part of Hamas‘ weekly “march of return” protests, in which they demand the right of Arabs to return to lands, from which they claim their ancestors fled or were forced to flee during Israel’s founding in 1948. While the Islamist ruler of the Gaza Strip claims that the protests are peaceful, one Palestinian demonstrator told TV7 that the weekly event aims to delegitimize Israel among the international community and that “the protest ultimately calls for the demise of the Zionist entity,” as he put it.
Furthermore, it was revealed this morning that Hamas’ secret Shura Council recently decided to escalate the violence in the Palestinian enclave gradually until the elections in Israel, which are scheduled to be held on the 9th of April, but not to get dragged into a new war. Palestinian sources claimed that Hamas believed that it would be easier to pressure Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and achieve its objectives over the next three months. Hamas reportedly would like to compel Israel to implement the second phase of Egyptian-brokered understandings on the presiding cease-fire, and promote large projects in the Gaza Strip, including for electricity and water.
Qatar announced that it had reached an understanding with the Islamist Hamas Organization, vis-à-vis the financial-aid it provides to the Gaza Strip, earmarked for the purpose of easing the enclave’s humanitarian distress. After Hamas decided last week to block the direct Qatari-funding to thousands of unpaid Palestinian civil servants in Gaza, claiming that Israel had broken agreements about how the arrangement would be carried out; the internationally recognized terror group reached an understanding Qatar, ‘to transfer the financial-aid to the United Nations, which will use the funds for humanitarian cases. “Hamas leadership informed us they refuse to accept salaries to be paid under any condition, as a way to spare all parties any pressure, it was agreed to dedicate the Qatari financial grant to pay for humanitarian projects with full cooperation and coordination with the United Nations, whether the projects are to help poor families, or to improve and develop electricity networks or projects that serve the health ministry, or in cash forward projects. There will be signing of all agreements with the United Nations on Monday to the amount of $20 million,” Mohammed Al-Emadi, Qatar’s Ambassador.
The reason behind Israel’s decision to delay the transfer of the Qatari donated funds, came in response to an increase of Palestinian violence that emanated from the Gaza Strip toward the Jewish State, including indiscriminate rocket-fire by Islamists toward Israel’s southern communities, as well as a growing phenomenon of sniper-fire that is directed toward Israeli forces that are stationed along the frontier. A senior Israeli government official told TV7 that Hamas rejected Jerusalem’s demand to end all violence directed toward it from the Gaza Strip, in return for the entry of funds earmarked for humanitarian relief. Instead, Hamas sought to circumvent the Israeli demand by using the United Nations to funnel the money into Gaza, a method that in effect: will allow Palestinians to continue their violence against the Jewish state without any fear of consequences. In response, however, a senior Hamas official claimed that both Israel and Qatar know very well that all the funds were used for humanitarian projects. “He knows that all the money that was spent, it was spent on humanitarian projects. Not one penny was used on weapons or other things. Weapons come from God’s will. However, these salaries are distributed towards health, education, salaries, welfare, people in need, prisoners, wounded, people who lost their limbs, and all these are humanitarian cases. Netanyahu thought that through extortion at this stage, he could accomplish something for him, but he failed, and I believe the money will go to the beneficiaries,” Mahmoud al-Zahar, Senior Hamas leader.