Fatah Accuses Hamas of Stealing Millions in Gaza Aid
“Show me the money:” A Palestinian Authority (PA) official claimed Tuesday that $700 million in international aid designated for reconstruction and humanitarian use in Gaza was taken by Hamas, “over the blood of the children of Palestine,” Israel’s NRG News reported.
Fatah spokesman, Ahmad Assaf, claimed that, during Operation Protective Edge, Hamas’ leadership in Gaza absconded with the money before it reached its destination.
“They raised funds from the Arab world in the name of the martyrs in Gaza, and on behalf of women, children and elders, and they talked about rebuilding the Gaza Strip and Israel destroyed mosques,” Assaf said in an interview with Arab media.
The Fatah spokesman insisted that Hamas’ leadership must “return the money they stole from the families of the dead and wounded refugee families whose homes were destroyed by the war,” and warned against the Islamist group “taking advantage of the circumstances of the war of destruction…”
This is not the first time that Fatah has accused Hamas of exploiting the situation in Gaza, in their favor.
During the 50-days of the operation to quell rocket fire and terror attack tunnels, official Palestinian sources said Gazans and Hamas took control of aid transferred from Israel through the Kerem Shalom crossing facility and used it for personal needs.
Meanwhile, Israel on Tuesday agreed to a proposal to establish a mechanism for restoration of the Gaza Strip under the supervision and control of the United Nations, according to a spokesman for the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT).
The mechanism would allow progress in rebuilding the Gaza Strip on the one hand, and protecting the security interests of Israel on the other.
The rehabilitation program is coordinated between the UN envoy to the Middle East, Robert Serry, PA Prime Minister, Rami Hamdallah, and COGAT chief, Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai, and approved by Israel’s political leadership.
“…within weeks, we expect to reintroduce building materials for the private sector, after a year of its prohibition,” a spokesman said. “If we detect the use of these materials for terroristic goals, we’ll know to stop it.
“The Strip is going to be in a new situation, and the PA will be in charge – even though Hamas controls the enclave. The PA will be the one representing the Strip in contacts with Israel and Egypt,” the official said.
Security sources also said that “the UN’s supervision mechanism on the equipment entering the Gaza Strip addresses Israel’s security interests by preventing the smuggling of weapons and materials for the manufacture of arms, or other terrorist capabilities. The UN reconstruction mechanism in the Gaza Strip allows in assistance to Gaza’s residents, under supervision, that will not be used for terroristic purposes, and ensures control and supervision acceptable to Israel.”