Unparallelled deceptions & corruption by Palestinians escapes US & EU leadership, but int’l aid conference has shown global community become a little wiser to Hamas’s numbers game.
A conference that aims to raise billions of dollars to “rebuild Gaza” after Hamas’s latest terror war on Israel faces “donor fatigue,” an insider told AFP on Friday.
The United Nations’ Palestinian Arab “refugee” agency, the UNRWA, has described the financial needs as “unprecedented” ahead of the Cairo meeting, which follows Hamas’s third war on Israeli civilians in six years.
But it is unclear how generous the world is willing to be given the intractability of the conflict and other priorities in the region, such as the fight against jihadists in Syria and Iraq.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) unity government has called for more than $4 billion in aid, and UNRWA for $1.6 billion.
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And while an international conference in March saw $200 million donated to the terror-run territory – and donations from the US and France reached a combined $61.8 million – the money is apparently still not enough for Hamas, nor for UNRWA, leaving many asking why.
To that end, a Western diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, warned there was “considerable donor fatigue.”
“We have seen infrastructure projects that we have contributed to which have been destroyed,” the diplomat said, adding that skepticism had existed even before the recent conflict.
Ample evidence has proven that Hamas uses UN and other aid money, as well as materials, to build terror tunnels into Israeli territory with the aim of attacking Israeli citizens – instead of providing buildings to its own citizens.
To illustrate this, the IDF revealed during the course of Operation Protective Edge that 4,680 trucks carrying 181 thousand tons of gravel, iron, cement, wood and other supplies passed through the Kerem Shalom crossing into Gaza since January 2014 – much of it directly from Israel to fund civilian projects.
Instead, however, a network of over 30 tunnels was found during the ground offensive, with each tunnel costing roughly $3 million to build. For every Hamas terror tunnel, the IDF stated, there was enough building materials to build 86 homes; seven mosques; six schools; or nineteen medical clinics.
Meanwhile, Hamas has begun to rebuild terror tunnels into Israel on foreign aid money – but despite this, the UN already joined the PA in making a call for $550 million to rebuild Gaza.
Fluffy front fools donors
To pry attention away from what analysts say is gross mismanagement of these funds, the PA unity government has sought to present a united front ahead of the meeting, to assuage donor concerns that reconstruction materials will fall into the hands of terrorists.
Earlier this week, Hamas and the PA met in a unity government meeting in Gaza to present the pretext of the PA being in charge of the going-ons in Gaza – a stunt the international community praised – and PA “foreign minister” Riyad al-Malki was confident the message was enough.
“Our initial predictions are that the (donor) conference will be a big success,” he said this week.
But a second diplomat, who did not want to be named, said the Gaza cabinet meeting was “not enough to reassure donors” – even if it was enough to reassure the political machine.
The EU, a chief aid supplier to the Palestinians, has welcomed “positive developments” while stressing that a lasting peace is needed.
“The only durable solution to Gaza is of course a political agreement between Palestinians and Israelis,” John Gatt-Rutter, the EU representative to Palestinian territories, told AFP.
The US bit the bait as well.
“The only way to have a long-term sustainable solution for Gaza is for the Palestinian Authority to assume full authority in Gaza,” US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said Thursday. “So we support this interim technocratic government in its efforts and we view this meeting as a positive step in that direction.”
View original Arutz Sheva publication at: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/186019#.VDgFjRaLUYA