Israel

Rivlin: Gaza Strip is on Verge of Collapse Because Hamas is Preventing its Rehabilitation

The infrastructure in the Gaza Strip is crumbling, Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin said during a tour of southern Israel bordering the Hamas-run territory, because the terrorist group is “preventing rehabilitation” of the territory it rules, The Times of Israel reported Sunday.

Rivlin called on the world to recognize “that the ones who are preventing rehabilitation are Hamas.” He added that “Israel is the only one in the region, that whatever the situation, transfers basic essentials to the residents of Gaza, so that they can sustain the body and mind.”

Rivlin’s observations comport with those made by other observers in recent years.

The Times of Israel’s Avi Issacharoff reported in March 2016 on a scheme where Hamas enriched itself using Qatari money that was intended to build homes for Gazans. Although the homes were meant to be free, Hamas charged families $40,000 each, ostensibly to connect utilities, collecting an estimated $38 million to fund its other activities.

Palestinian affairs correspondent Khaled Abu Toameh pointed out a month earlier that Hamas has prioritized building up its terror infrastructure over rebuilding Gazan homes, writing that “the last thing Hamas cares about is the welfare of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.”

In December 2014, Neri Zilber observed that, while Fatah and Hamas fight over control of Gaza’s reconstruction, “Israel, of all the parties involved, has shown the greatest degree of flexibility towards a Gaza Strip still ruled by Hamas.”

[Photo: Reuven Ruvi Rivlin / Facebook]