“Magen veLo Yera’e” [Motto of Shin Bet]
It was not a hallucination when Israelis living in Gaza border area were hearing some digging sounds. In July 2015 the Shin Bet [aka The Israel Security Agency/ISA aka Shabak] with Israeli Police arrested a Hamas operative Ibrahim Adel Shehadeh Shaer – a tunnel digger in the group’s armed wing. According Israel Hayom the man was detained for questioning and he proceeded to provide interrogators with valuable information about the terrorist organization’s extensive digging plans and the location of new tunnel access points. The Shin Bet said that Shaer provided significant details about Hamas’ tunnels in the Rafah area, including the areas where digging was taking place, the location of entrance and exit points to tunnels, the identities of other tunnel diggers and the routes of the tunnels.
Shaer also told interrogators that to sustain its military infrastructure, Hamas diverts resources and materials delivered to Gaza within the framework of rehabilitation efforts. According to Shaer, Hamas fighters store explosives in residential homes, in accordance with directives from the group’s commanders, who are concerned that traditional military warehouses will be bombed.
The Shin Bet said that beyond the routine issues pertaining to his main function as a tunnel digger, Shaer was also privy to the link between Iran and Hamas, in the form of military aid the Islamic republic transfers into Gaza to strengthen the terrorist organization. According to Shaer, Iran supports Hamas by transferring funds, advanced weapons systems and electronic equipment, such as devices for jamming radio waves, which are used in efforts to bring down Israeli drones flying over Gaza. In addition Shaer underwent combat and command training, learned how to operate advanced weapons systems and received demolition training. On July 31, an indictment was filed against Shaer in the Beersheba District Court for being a member of, and engaging in, activities with a banned organization, attempted murder, contact with a foreign enemy agent, illegal military training, and various firearms charges. Source: Israel Hayom
Slow reconstruction activities in Gaza is nothing new nor the fact that donor aid for reconstruction is misused e.g. for tunnels. This aspect was very well highlighted by Dr. Ibrahim Abrashin – ex-minister representing political wing in Hamas – in his recent article (more in Palestinians: A Rare Voice of Sanity ) Today outrage spreads on social media due two documents leaked online detailing two attempts by Palestinian officials to misuse public funds, highlighting the corruption and mismanagement critics say remains rampant in the Palestinian Authority government. One document, by adviser to President Abbas, asks for $4 million for private building complex, another seeks funds for daughter’s private school. The core of comments is rampant corruption, mismanagement and nepotism in PA. Source: Israel Hayom ) A wider picture about non-existent skills of Palestinian authority to deliver international donor aid to beneficiaries one can find from my article Palestine – Placebo effect for people and society with 20 bn bucks
Some of my remarks related to news quoted above:
1) Shaer confirms suspicions made earlier that the donor aid for Gaza reconstruction activities is more or less used to dig [attack] tunnels. Western mainstream media has accused so far Israel and imaginary Gaza blockade about slow reconstruction process.
2) Hamas is still locating war materials in the middle of civilian buildings; if and when Israel during next Gaza conflict destroys these storages one can expect some civilian deaths and blaming only Israel for war crimes.
3) Despite of capasity building efforts for decades of Western international community to develop administration and facilities of dreamed Palestinian state is the outcome modest at best. In Western media many times Israel get the blame for this; a better address could be some inside aspects – such as corruption, misconduct and political elite making money at people’s expence – of Palestinian Authority.
4) As consequence tens of billions USD aid, which was intended to give good public services for people disappears on the way to beneficiaries.
5) The fact that Palestinian Authority can not make a negotiated peace deal with Israel might be caused by interests of the political elite of the PA and some donor agencies; chaotic situation has its benefits as the international aid flows with minimal transparency.
Palestinian Terrorism Industry: Salaries
The Palestinian Authority [PA] pays high salaries and good benefits to convicted terrorists in Israeli prisons. Much of money to reward terrorists comes from Western tax dollars as the PA budget is heavily dependent on foreign aid. Donors gave roughly $30 billion in international aid to the PA between 1993 and 2012; $7 billion came from the U.S. alone and $7 billion came from the EU; $10 billion
came from individual European countries, Japan, Australia, and Canada.
The salaries are usually far higher than the West Bank average wage of $533/month and sometimes higher than those of any other civil servants. The average monthly salary paid to terrorists was 3,129 shekels ($850) in 2012 while the average salary for civil servants was 2,882 shekels, ($783), and for Palestinian military personnel it was 2,704 shekels ( $734).
In 2011, The PA announced the following wages and stipulated that they would be linked to the cost of living index.
•All security prisoners get a base salary of 1400 shekels ($400) per month.
•Terrorists sentenced to 3-5 years get 2,000 shekels ($560) per month.
•Terrorists sentenced to 5-10 years get 4,000 shekels ($1,100) per month.
•Terrorists sentenced to 10-15 years get 6,000 shekels ($1,690) per month.
•Terrorists sentenced to 15-20 years get 7,000 shekels ($2,000) per month.
•Terrorists sentenced to 20-25 years get 8,000 shekels ($2,250) per month.
•Terrorists sentenced to 25-30 years get 10,000 shekels ($2,800) per month.
•The worst offenders, those who commit mass murder, get the top wage of 12,000 shekels ($3,400) per month—up to 10 times more than the average pay.
•Released prisoners receive the status of a deputy minister or the rank of major-general in the PA security forces – both worth a monthly stipend of NIS 14,000 ($4,000).
•In 2013, four thousand released Palestinian prisoners received monthly salaries although many of them were able-bodied men who could work.