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In wake of Gaza indictments, Netanyahu says, ‘I care more about Palestinians than their own leaders’

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Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu heightened his row with international charities operating in Gaza in a video Thursday where he announced, “Israel cares more about Palestinians than their own leaders do.”

“Who cares more about Palestinians.” pressed Netanyahu, “Israel, that facilitates the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza, every single day? Or Hamas, that robs Palestinian children of that very same aid?”

The prime minister continued by repeating accusations that have put international organizations under scrutiny. In the last two weeks two Palestinian aid officials in Gaza have been accused by Israel of misusing resources. 

“A few days ago, the world learned that Hamas, the terrorist organization that rules Gaza, stole millions of dollars from humanitarian organizations like World Vision and the United Nations,” Netanyahu said.

On August 3, Mohammed el-Halabi, director of the Gaza branch of World Vision, was criminally charged by Israel for allegedly funneling 60 percent of his organization’s projects budget—$7.2 million annually—to support for Hamas.

World Vision has denied the Israeli accounting. ”There is a huge gap in these numbers the Israeli government is telling and what we know,” the group’s German spokesperson Silvia Holten told the AP.

A few days later a second humanitarian worker, Waheed Borsh, a contractor with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) was also indicted for supporting Hamas. Borsh confessed to a list of ways that he had “aided Hamas,” according to a statement from Israel’s Security Agency.

“Last year he helped build a military jetty in the northern Gaza Strip – utilizing UNDP resources – to be used by Hamas’ naval forces,” the statement said. “Also in 2015, he acted to persuade UNDP managers to prioritize the rehabilitation of housing in areas populated by Hamas members… Borsh was acting in response to a request by Hamas.”

The Israel Securities Authority (ISA) alleged that Borsh admitted knowing the location of Hamas military facilities, and said when he found weapons stowed in UNDP facilities he allowed Hamas to “confiscate the arms and other materials.”

The actual indictment against the UN worker filed lesser charges than the offenses alleged by Israel’s security agency, a source who has seen the indictment told Mondoweiss. 

The court document indicated Borsh will be prosecuted for “communicating with a foreign agent, providing services to a foreign group, dealing with properties in an attempt to be used against Israel,” the source said, adding that the one-page indictment does not assert Borsh aided any “illegal organization,” Israeli legal-speak for terror organizations and Hamas.

Laith Abu Zeyad, an advocacy officer with the Palestinian legal rights group Addameer said the language of the criminal case is typical for those charged after traveling abroad and meeting with representatives of governments at odds with Israel.

Abu Zeyad said that “spying of having connection with a foreign agent” is a “a very common accusation used by the Israeli government” merely in cases where an individual has traveled to an enemy country such as Lebanon.  

“The accusation are really vague,” he went on, saying that there are difficulties in distinguishing between a resident of Gaza interacting with Hamas as the ruling civil administration, and interacting with its military wing. 

“Even if they provide evidence, even if they provide a pictures of him shaking hands with a Hamas militant, it cannot be used as evidence because it could be his relative or something,” Abu Zeyad continued.

This is the second recorded message from the prime minister in recent weeks in which the subject was the well-being of Arabs and Palestinians. In the first he said he hoped for greater inclusion of Palestinian citizens into Israeli society. The message was timed after his government passed a series of economic-improvement programs.

The medium of goodwill clips is a staple of Israeli public relations for ceremonial greetings and religious holidays. It is far less common when the subject is the Israeli conflict with Palestinian armed groups and their backers.

Allison Deger

Allison Deger is the Assistant Editor of Follow her on twitter at @allissoncd.

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9 Responses

  1. Kay24 on August 14, 2016, 4:35 pm

    Of course you do Beebs, of course you do. That is why you decide to mow the lawn and kill women and children, when you decide they have to reduce their numbers. You are such a compassionate idiot.

    • inbound39 on August 14, 2016, 11:26 pm

      I find his statements obscene and lacking credibility in any sense. It simply highlights the ridiculousness of American Government support for Israel.

  2. iResistDe4iAm on August 14, 2016, 11:54 pm

    “The blacks are immeasurably better off here than in Africa, morally, physically, and socially” ~ Robert E. Lee, 1856

    “South Africa has achieved for its nonwhite people the best education and the highest standard of living among all the blacks of Africa” ~ James Kilpatrick, 1971

    “Yet South Africa is the only country in Sub-Saharan Africa that can feed itself. Blacks possess one of the highest living standards in all of Africa” ~ Anne-Marie Kriek, 1989

    “Israel cares more about Palestinians than their own leaders do” ~ Benjamin Netanyahu, August 2016

    “Of the 300 million Arabs in the Middle East and North Africa, only Israel’s Arab citizens enjoy real democratic rights … Of those 300 million Arabs, less than one-half of one-percent are truly free, and they’re all citizens of Israel!” ~ Benjamin Netanyahu, May 2011

    “The only place in the Middle East where Christians aren’t endangered but flourishing is Israel” ~ Michael Oren, March 2012

    “Israel on the West Bank is more democratic than any Arab or Muslim state in the world today” ~ Alan Dershowitz, May 2013

    If you want to know what the slaves think, DON’T ask the slave-owners …ask the slaves!

  3. Marnie on August 15, 2016, 7:23 am

    What a delusional, immoral bastard. It’s too insulting to listen to him speak. His target audience has to be a sack of hammers. Or a room full of mirrors. I can’t believe anyone is so stupid to believe anything he says.

  4. Hussein Hammami on August 15, 2016, 8:53 am

    Netanyahu cares for the Palestinians just as much as Hitler cared for the Jews.

  5. Elizabeth Block on August 15, 2016, 10:20 am

    Hamas’s naval forces???

    Do they mean the fishermen who, if they venture as far from shore as they are supposed to be allowed to, are likely to get shot at, have their boats confiscated, etc.?

    If he was talking about the PA when he castigated Palestinian leaders, there would be some truth to the accusation. The PA governs on behalf of Israel, not of the Palestinians. (See Ben Ehrenreich’s “The Way to the Spring.”) Abbas is a “roi negre,” in English “nigger king.” An offensive term for an offensive thing.

  6. eljay on August 15, 2016, 11:55 am

    “Who cares more about Palestinians.” pressed Netanyahu, “Israel, that …

    …used terrorism and ethnic cleansing to drive Palestinians from their homes and lands so that it could establish a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of Palestine;
    …continues to occupy and colonize Palestinian land and oppress, torture and kill Palestinians;
    …refuses to honour its obligations under international law (including RoR of refugees);
    …refuses to accept responsibility and accountability for its past and on-going (war) crimes;
    …refuses to enter into sincere negotiations for a just and mutually-beneficial peace?

    Israel’s King Bibi sounds like some guy defending Joe the Rapist: Who cares more about these poor women? Joe – who feeds them, clothes them and puts a roof over their heads – or the so-called ‘justice system’ that wants to see them walk the streets to earn a living?

  7. Atlantaiconoclast on August 15, 2016, 2:28 pm

    Welcome to Israel, the only Western nation in which the dominant ethnic group is allowed to have policies to ensure that it does not become a minority. It is ok for Jews to want to preserve their majority status, but wrong for Whites in other Western nations.

  8. Mooser on August 15, 2016, 5:33 pm

    “It is ok for Jews to want to preserve their majority status, but wrong for Whites in other Western nations.”

    So why are you here? Can you imagine how much it will damage the cause of white majority rule if Zionism goes all democratic and color-blind?

    You should be (and are) defending Zionism as if your life depends on it.

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