Hamas, the Iran-backed terrorist group that rules the Gaza Strip, has prohibited a senior United Nations official from leaving Gaza, the Associated Press reported Thursday.
A UN source told the AP that Mahmoud Daher, the head of the World Health Organization’s Gaza office, was barred from exiting the strip due to a newly-instituted bureaucratic rule. Hamas, which has ruled Gaza since it seized power in a violent coup in 2007, recently enforced a requirement that members of international organizations would have to obtain a exit permit from Hamas to leave Gaza. The UN had been exempt from this requirement, but that is apparently no longer the case. The AP characterized the new rule as an attempt by Hamas “to exert its influence on the UN.” UNRWA, the UN’s Palestinian relief agency, aids thousands of Gazans.
The International Committee of the Red Cross had to close its Gaza office earlier this week when protesters stormed the building.
Hamas has suffered a number of setbacks in recent weeks. Eleven Hamas militants have died in tunnel collapses in the past few months. The collapses have occurred as Hamas has expedited its construction of attack tunnels in anticipation of another war with Israel. Divisions in the ranks of the terrorist group’s leadership were exposed earlier this week, with the announcement of the execution of one of its commanders under murky circumstances.
Ties between Hamas and the Sinai-based franchise of ISIS were the focus of renewed attention after Israeli intelligence revealed that ISIS terrorists are traveling to Gaza for medical treatment.
[Photo: Abed Rahim Khatib / Flash 90 ]