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January 27, 2015 7:36 pm

Report: Hamas Desperate to Renew Talks With Israel After PA, UN Funding Slows

avatar by Dave Bender

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Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal at a news conference in Tehran, Iran, 2008. Photo: wiki commons

Hamas, faced with a disastrous economic situation in Gaza stemming from a freeze on funding from the rival Palestinian Authority (PA), and halted UN reconstruction funds, urgently wants to restore indirect talks with Israel, NRG News reported Tuesday.

Hamas leader Osama Hamdan admitted that the Iran-backed organization was trying to resume negotiations with Israel through Egyptian mediation.

In an interview with Hamas’s Al Aqsa TV, Hamdan said that members of the group recently went to Egypt to promote a meeting with Israeli negotiators in order to conclude the indirect talks which began after last summer’s Operation Protective Edge, but which were suspended by Egypt in October.

Cairo’s move came after a terror attack killed at least 30 Egyptian soldiers in the northern Sinai, in what Egypt said was a Hamas-backed operation.

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Hamdan, however, also criticized what he called “the recent Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip,” referring to IDF fire towards the border fence in recent days, intended to repulse potential infiltrators and protesters from the heavily-guarded security perimeter.

UNRWA, for its part, said that it “has been forced to suspend its cash assistance program in Gaza to tens of thousands of people for repairs to damaged and destroyed homes and for rental subsidies to the homeless,” a statement read.

“Over 96,000 Palestine refugee family homes were damaged or destroyed during last summer’s conflict and US $720 million is required to address this need. To date, UNRWA has received only US $135 million in pledges, leaving a shortfall of US $585 million. While some funds remain available to begin the reconstruction of totally destroyed homes, UNRWA has exhausted all funding to support repairs and rental subsidies,” according to the organization.

“It is unclear why this funding has not been forthcoming,” according to Gaza UNRWA Director, Robert Turner, who claimed that “…UNRWA has been a stabilizing factor in a very challenging political and security context and if we cannot continue the program, it will have grave consequences for affected communities in  Gaza.”

However, during the 50-day battle aimed at stopping rocket fire and destroying attack tunnels leading into Israel, Israeli and other observers noted that the world body was discovered to have aided Hamas in returning rockets and weapons that were hidden in its schools, and lying about the evacuation of schools during fighting.

According to NRG’s report on Tuesday, Khalil al Hayya, a senior Hamas official, issued an ominous warning that the delay in the receipt of reconstruction funds could serve as inspiration for future terror attacks.

“Our message to a world that is afraid of terrorism and radicalism, is that preventing reconstruction, and the continued blockade of the Gaza Strip, will enable the rise of terrorists and extremists,” he claimed.

However, the Israeli Civil Administration, which deals with day-to-day relations with the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, regularly publishes lists and photos of foods, medicines, and daily goods, including construction materials, which it allows into the coastal enclave, while maintaining a strict maritime blockade to thwart weapons smuggling.

Egypt, in recent months, has demolished a 13-km stretch of housing and evacuated close to a thousand people along its border with  the Hamas-ruled territory, in order to build its own security barrier against smuggling and attack tunnels being rebuilt by the Muslim Brotherhood offshoot.

Last November, exiled Jordanian politician, Mudar Zahran, confirmed that Hamas is already trying to confiscate construction materials donated by the international community.

“Aid earmarked for reconstruction is turning up on the Hamas controlled black market, where it is being sold at premium prices,” Zahran charged.

Hamas has annually funneled over $300 million towards weapons and paying military salaries, according to the Shin Bet Israel Security Agency.

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  • Who would ever give money to people who are known to invest money in lies, hate and violence?
    Iran? Qatar? Saudi Arabia? Why would Israel do that, without asking first that they change their chart and their politics. I miss something.

  • Bill

    I guess they are desperate to renew talks if they don,t start to govern and sole some life issues for the people of Gaza their people will probably hang them. Hunger is a great motivator of change.i

  • Jack

    While Hamas’ position is filled with artifice and greed the problems facing the average Gazan will not be rectified until Hamas is prosecuted as a criminal organization.
    To hide behind ones faith is an act of cowardice.
    It has allowed the destruction of more than two generations of Gazan’s hopes and dreams, all while providing no recourse to the possibility of peace.
    The failure of The International Criminal Court in the Hague to issue forth is a significant factor in the on going criminality.
    Without direction most politicians are afraid of retribution for doing the right thing.
    This is psychologically tenuous, at best leading to un-neccesary stress for the polity of most nations.
    If 911 and Charlie Hebdo aren’t wake up calls what will it take?

  • Emmett

    To spell it out, UNWRA is just a UN terrorist supporting agency dedicated to financing PLO terrorists. Why is it that only Hamas gets constant focus & mention when they share the same sole purpose as the rest of the PLO? Especially when they are the weakest faction.

  • Otto Waldmann

    Hang on a minute, didn’t hamas just win that bloody war !!!

    Anyway, how is it that all those UN agencies supporting a beligerant/criminal hamas, practically encouraging it to pursue its formal status as a murderous entity, now cannot support the inevitable consequences of what hamas really turns out to be !!! Don’t you just love it.
    The idiotic blackmail by hamas that they will resort to….more terrorist acts unless paid, should BY NOW signal to the same idiots that crime begets crime and hamas should, logically, be left to bleed to its deserved demise.Meanwhile Israel, you know those who lost to hamas, is thriving !!! Not fair….

  • pxfragonard

    UNRWA has been proved to have assisted a non-state actor attack to destroy a member state of which it is an agency. It is in material breach of the UN Charter and must be disbanded TODAY.

  • Arthur T

    If they refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist, what is there to talk about? There is no point in having any “hudnah” or truce. Only an end to the conflict is worth discussion.

    • jeff

      “End of Conflict”? that is about 99% sure that that will NOT be be achieved- at least for a decade or two or longer. It is a better idea for incremental steps…and military de escalation.

  • No organization should give these thugs another dime! To threaten terrorism towards those who pledged help if they don’t give it is extortion and blackmail. They should be arrested and tried on those charges. It’s time the world woke-up and says “enough is enough.” These so-called leaders of Hamas and the P.A. live in luxury and send their people on suicide missions and inflame them with their false rhetoric while fattening-up their bank accounts! How the world can be so stupid is beyond my comprehension. No money–no weapons and no money to pay their so-called “military” who are in reality nothing more than terrorists and paid mercenaries. You’ll never see this on the six o’clock news!

    • racy

      No money, not a penny to these thugs, murderers and terrorists. They can threaten all they want. They want to play with fire; they will be burned. How dare they threaten. All the aid we’ve given them has gone into the pockets of the terrorist leaders. Where is the accounting of all the millions of dollars we already poured into them? All the construction equipment they’re receiving will go into building more terrorist
      tunnels, not homes, not schools. Only idiots would continue giving the terrorists money.

  • Lynne T

    It seems like only yesterday that there were reports of Hamas trying to rewarm relations with Iran now that the Saudis are pressuring other conservative Sunni states to cut support to the Muslim Brotherhood and its various affiliates.

  • Maybe if they weren’t so busy launching rockets and building tunnels into their neighbors’ territory, they’d have time to work, instead of depending forever on other peoples’ money. Even their Egyptian brethren are disgusted with them, especially after a recent attack that left 30 Egyptians dead, and have built a security fence.

    • Bill P

      The Egyptians have been wary of the Palestinians for over 65 years. Otherwise, they would have been let into Egypt and assimilated. This is just what the Indians did to refugees from Pakistan at the same time as Israel was formed. This is what the Pakistanis did to refugees from India in 1947-48. This is what the Croats and Serbs did for refugees recently. Egypt does not want any Palestinians despite the language, religion, and cultural identities being exactly the same. I wonder how that situation came to be.

  • If the world recognizes that Hamas are terrorists, how can ant country donate to rebuild a terrorist state that will use its funds to continue attacking Israel. Hamas should be outlawed in the PA territories and Egypt should take charge of Gaza, as it did previously.

  • Bullfrog Europe

    Why would the world want to pledge more money to Gaza ?

    After all, to the Arab world, in reality, the Palestinian cause is nothing but a nightmare.

    The ‘de facto’ terrorist state called Hamas just attracts its own destruction.

    Who in their right mind wants to throw money at a wasted cause.

  • steven L

    IL must reject any life line to the fanatics.

  • Mireille Mechoullam

    As far as I am concern they should all go to hell.

  • David Goshen

    Hamas would be well advised to take the following steps if they want to renew negotiations:
    1To immediatly stop the redigging and renewal of tunnels and undeground military areas.
    2To stop the odd infilitrations in the south af the country.
    3To cease the persicution of Fatah and non Hamas citizens
    which includes not permitting them medical services in Israel.
    4To re examine the whole subject of the human rights of citizens of Gazawhich suffer from major persecution not being able to discuss actions of Hamas Goverment for fear of death or injury.
    5To cease military reamarment,rocket testing and holistities in Sinai.
    6To permit a visit of Abu Mazem to visit Gaza with associates and to enable them to fulfil UN requirements that they supervise the rebuilding of housing,cease the blackmarket in building materials and stop transfer to building tunnels.
    7Cease immediately the anti Israel propogranda and threats to destruct Israel.
    This is a good start
    David Goshen

  • Ivan Gur-Arie

    Just too bad. When the Palestinians have had enough, then maybe it will enter their dumb noggins to get rid of Hamas. People who live in glass houses should not throw rockets.

  • No money no Funny…
    It is just a matter of time for them to start go after each other.
    Moshe

  • Steven Geller

    Why does Israel try to deal even indirectly with Hamas, the Palestinian Agency and Hezbollah. The line in the sand is the portrayal of Jews worldwide and Israelis as contemptible beings who do not deserve to live and murdering a Jew is a good deed. Until their schoolbooks are cleansed of anti-semitic propaganda and anti-semitism banned in their territories, no talks, even conducted in separate rooms, should take place. That point is non-negotiable.

  • Gabrielle Grossman

    I feel sorry for the Gazans who were able to remain innocent, but were subject to the dictates of the fierce Hamas that rules and oppresses them. UNRWA has proved to be complicit with Hamas in it’s hiding of weapons, not warning the people and children under their care. The only solution I can think of, is for UNRWA to be disbanded, and for the Egyptian and Israeli government to jointly take over Gaza, separate out the criminal Hamas elements for imprisonment and help the innocents to re-build their homes and their lives. Schools need to be set-up for children and adults which teaches democracy, freedom and anti-Hamas or extremist views. Eventually, Gaza will be ready for an election of their own leaders.

    • Bill

      Egypt and Isreal taking Gaza over to jointly try realize a better future is I belive dangerous. It could go either way. It could bring the two countries closer or create a area of friction both countries treat there respective people differently. Hamas has to either be destroyed or find a different wisdom and future for the people the are responsible for.

    • Scott Riemersma

      This kind of common sense is totally lacking on the world stage.

  • Mh8169

    The leadership of Hamas should rot in hell. The so call Palestinians voted for these terrorist sobs and I say revolt and get rid of them. Let when they are gone, then come to the peace table.

  • RobiMac

    Hamas doesn’t talk unless it’s propaganda. If they want to ‘resume talks’ you can bet it’s to stall as they continue to regroup and rearm.

  • art

    Let hamas stew, let hamas learn that they are hated by thei fellow arabs and each has used the other as a tool for their own interests let hamas be isolated let hamas fail to provide anything for its people let the people of gaza learn that hamas is bad for them let them learn that supporting and enabling hamas has serious consequences for them let the people of gaza learn that they are responsible for electing hamas Let hamas and pa hate each other, neither wants peace with Israel and neither is good. Weaken hamas as much as possible. Stop bailing out hamas and the arabs when they attack Israel

  • STEVEN KATZ

    Attention Hamas, PA, PLO, etc. … Israel is not interested in speaking with you. Your words and agreements are worthless, since you haven’t honored a single word of them.

    As for resuming funding and payment of collected taxes …. HA!. Take a hike … Israel will use those monies to pay the various companies for the electricity, water and other services they’ve provided for which you’ve not paid. I guess buying weapons was more important than paying for the goods and services you received.

    No more concessions, no more agreements and no more bending over backwards in the hope of a peace that hurts more Israelis than the battles you also start.

  • They want Money!

  • rulierose

    “…preventing reconstruction, and the continued blockade of the Gaza Strip, will enable the rise of terrorists and extremists,” whereas lifting the blockade and allowing the tunnels to be rebuilt will enable the rise of–peace?

  • BH in Iowa

    Hamas need not worry. Obama has just sent his campaign manager over there to get the Labor/Livni/Arab block ‘elected’. The money and arms supply will be back open by summer.

  • Vittore

    “will enable the rise of terrorists and extremists”

    As if Hamas and other armed Arab groups in the Gaza Strip are just peaceful shepherds.

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