Hamas goes to the new Intifada, loaded with billions of dollars from Qatar and Iran

The symmetry between yesterday’s two episodes of violence in Israel outlines the worst of all nightmares: the war of religion, worse than the territorial conflict that maybe, in the end, could also imply a solution under the trite slogan of “two States for two Peoples”. During the same day, a Mosque has been set on fire in Al Maghir, east of Ramallah, a village where there are unceasing frictions between Palestinians and settlers.

The mayor of Al Maghir blamed the settlers for the vandalistic attack, and cited another arson in Aqraba on October, 13. That same night, a Molotov cocktail was thrown at the historic Old Synagogue in Shfaram, Galilee. The fire did not cause serious damage there, but between the first and the second floor of the Mosque in Al Maghir the fire burned various pieces of furniture and pages of the Quran.

The most serious damage, however, is attested by the mayor, Faraj al Naassaneh, who is sure that the responsibility is of a gang of outlaws called “Price Tag”. The name indicates the price to be paid for the damage the Israeli Government causes when clears out and destroys illegal settlements, and also for the damage caused by Arab attacks to the Israeli population. They are group of about a hundred fanatical, aggressive and often racistpeople, who in some cases have already been arrested and faced a trial. Not enough, as some say. But Gershon Mesika, head of the Shomron Regional Council, defends the settlers: “We have already seen in the case of the Mosque that was torched in Tuba-Zangariyye that one of the Arab residents of the village was actually behind the act of arson. He set the building on fire in order to create a provocation”.

The police forces are investigating, but in the meantime some anti-Arab graffiti appeared on a wall in Beit-Safafa, an Arab neighborhood in Jerusalem. The clashes never stopped after the killing of a young Palestinian man in Al Arroub, near the Gush Etzion junction, where two days ago a young 25-year-old Jewish girl has been stabbed to death, while an Israel Defense Forces soldier has been assassinatedin Tel Aviv.

Tomorrow, Friday, the Al Aqsa mosque will be again the focus of the sick attention of a Middle East already drunk on ISIS’ war of religion. Even here you can feel that fever. Abu Mazen does not dare to back down now that his side is all fired-up at the idea that Israel wants to take over the Temple Mount, nor he condemns the terrorist attacks, which “shahids” he actually glorifies.

There is nobody there to pour oil on those troubled waters. In the last few days, the Islamic Movement in Israel headed by Sheikh Raed Salah got a foothold. The Sheikh calls for gatherings, makes public statements and announces: “We will not wave a white flag, we will never surrender from our duty of protecting the Al-Aqsa Mosque”.
As Hamas usually does, Salah glorifies the terrorists as martyrs and heroes in his speeches. And he seems to be closely linked to Hamas, since he supervised “Jerusalem for Development”, a charity organization that kept raising money until last July, when it was outlawed as “a legal front for Hamas activities”.

Of course, Hamas does not need Salah’s money. According to a recent Forbes Israel report, Hamas ranks as the second-richest terror organization in the world with one billion dollars in annual income, right after ISIS, with a budget between two and three billion dollars a year. It beats the Colombian FARC with 600 million dollars, Hezbollah with 500, the Talibans with 400, Al Qaeda with 150. Then, there are groups as Lashkar e-Taiba, with 100 million dollars, and Al Shabaab (with 70), followed by the New IRA with 50 million dollars, and Boko Aram with 25. These figures give us the magnitude of the lie that every day is being fed to us by a propaganda built around the pitiful and desperate face of Gaza.

Right after the war, the “donors” promised aid for four billion dollars. But where will that money end up, if not straight in Hamas’ coffers? If you look at the misery and suffering of the population of Gaza and compare it with Forbes’ figures, you will be able to understand where the funds for Gaza really end up.

As it seems, Hamas prefers to spend that money in weapons and terror, or divert it in its leaders’ pockets. Who, according to a great number of sources, own villas, plots of land, companies and investments.

In 2010, the Egyptian magazine Rose al-Yusuf reported that Ismail Haniyeh paid four million dollars for a parcel of land in a beachfront neighborhood of Gaza City, and registered it in the name of his daughter’s husband.The report mentions that the Egyptians arrested Haniyeh’s son on the border with millions in cash on hand, which he was about to smuggle into Gaza.

Perhaps, we are the people who gave him that money to cover those infamous open sewers, now bound to remain there while Hamas prepares the next war.

About the Author
Fiamma Nirenstein is a journalist, author, former Deputy President of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, and member of the Italian delegation at the Council of Europe.