MidEast

PA Cleric: Hamas Wants Gazans to Die for “Good Headlines”

The Islamist terror group Hamas, which is in complete political and military control of the Gaza Strip, “is sending Gazans to their death for good headlines,” a senior adviser to Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas charged, The Times of Israel reported.

Referring to the current round of Hamas-orchestrated riots along the Gaza-Israel border, in which some 30 Palestinians have been killed, Mahmoud al-Habbash — the PA’s top cleric and Abbas’s adviser on religious and Islamic affairs — dismissed Hamas’s “emotional stories of heroism.”

Instead, the cleric said that Hamas was deliberately using Gazans as human shields, a war crime under international law, for political gains. It is a tactic that Hamas has admitted to using in the past.

Hamas was “selling illusions,” he said in a sermon on Friday, adding that the terror group was “trading in suffering and blood, trading in victims” so that it could make strong declarations on TV. “These [Hamas] acts of ‘heroism’ don’t fool anyone anymore,” he said. “The Palestinian people…sides with the PLO.”

Hamas has been in complete control of the Gaza Strip since 2007, after violently expelling members of Fatah from the enclave, which culminated in Hamas’s seizure of all military and governmental institutions.

Hamas has failed to deliver on its promises for a better future for the citizens of Gaza. Despite Israel sending tons of goods into the Strip on a daily basis – food, medicine, building material among other things – the population of Gaza is suffering extreme hardship.

Hamas is under increasing financial strain. The Palestinian Authority is threatening to withhold payments to Gaza, and there are consistent reports that international sponsors are cutting back as well. The terror group has diverted international assistance to military purposes, including tunnels. Water and electricity shortages are increasingly common.

Their military options have all been cut off: Iron Dome has neutralized a good deal of their rocket options, while Israel’s anti-tunnel technology has begun cutting off that route. The group is therefore seeking to create incidents to distract from their ability to govern. Since Hamas is running out of ways to attack Israel, it is now resorting to the human shields strategy along the border.

[Photo: World Jewish Congress ]