Who Supports Hamas?
Several years ago, I was invited to visit the Israeli towns that border Gaza to understand the situation that Israelis endure. They could live elsewhere. Some live there because they don’t want to leave their extended family, who may have roots in the area since 1948. Others choose to live there because the rent is less expensive than in the center of Israel. They love their close-knit communities and small schools.
Upon one visit, a police officer showed me an area within the police compound called the Rocket Graveyard. I witnessed thousands of rockets that had been recovered after being shot into their location. These rockets had writing on them, sometimes in Arabic or Hebrew. Many of them had messages in English. Messages were along the lines of “This time Israel, next time America” or “Allah Akbar” (Praise Allah).
While reading these messages, the officer asked me if I recognized these rockets. I did not. He then pointed to the streetlights. He said these are reused streetlight poles. The polls were cut into sections 1-2 meters (3-6 feet) long. He explained how the residents of Gaza complained that the streets were dark at night and very dangerous.
Countries from around the world sent thousands of lights and poles into Gaza. The terrorists among them would make weapons out of the gift and terrorize their neighbors. I see how Hamas (the elected government of Gaza) is making rockets to destroy Israel. These rockets were regularly launched into Israel, but because they usually did not do much human damage, a confrontation was avoided. When one was detected to endanger life, the Israeli army would bring it down using the Iron Dome at a cost of about $10,000.00 per launch.
The unsophisticated light pole rockets have been replaced with much more technological weaponry, such as long-range rifles, AK-47s, anti-tank missiles, and tunnels that cost billions of dollars.
At the time of this article, we are on day 52 of a war. Today, a halt in the warfare was observed, while, hopefully, Israel will retrieve more of their hostages. I don’t see it as a fair trade. Israel released 30 violent criminals, and Hamas released ten unsuspecting, law-abiding hostages. It is not an even swap, but if some of those hostages were my children, I would be very grateful and willing to give anything.
Be clear: I am not against Arab people. Most are good, family-loving people. I respect their struggle but understand the blessings God has placed upon them. God allotted to them much more land than He assigned to Israel. Their riches are unfathomable. Therefore, terror groups desire to control the people and their wealth.
Where has the money to purchase highly sophisticated weaponry to support this recent terrorist war come from? Some would quickly state that it’s Iran. I don’t doubt that, but money has also come from other sources. According to the Arab Center, Washington, DC, since the 1993 Oslo Accords between Israel and Palestine, member countries have given more than 40 billion dollars from 1994 to 2020 (arabcenterdc.org). The largest donor was several countries throughout the European Union, and only 4% behind is the USA.
Next is a conglomeration of Arab League nations. Countries such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt, and Jordan are opposed to Hamas. Most Arab countries chose to distance themselves from the war due to Gaza’s opting for a government characterized by violent control. While Hamas continues to fire rockets into Israel and Israel continues airstrikes against targets in Gaza, most Arab states have chosen not to participate in any way.
During these 16 years, the world has decried the poverty of the Palestinian territories. We all struggled to figure out where all the money was going. I could spend another article showing the palaces occupied by PLO leaders as well as Hamas officials. We are now finding out that this 40 billion has not only kept up extravagant lifestyles but also purchased the most modern military equipment.
How about hospitals and schools? Each month, Israel gives millions to the Palestinians to keep up their infrastructure, such as roads, police, and medical needs. However, caring for their people is not a priority. They would instead use the funding given for educating the Palestinian children on training militant “freedom fighters” and rewarding murderers.
They have some excellent hospitals. I have visited four Palestinian hospitals during my time in Israel. My visits were not for social calls but to receive treatment for various ailments. I do not have Israeli insurance, so when I need medical treatment, I visit a local Palestinian doctor or hospital. I usually go to Saint Joseph’s Hospital in East Jerusalem.
They have the latest technology and very competent doctors. I can get an EKG, X-ray, colonoscopy, and stress test, all for less than $100 each. Those same tests are many times more expensive at the Hadassah Hospital. I recently had an eye appointment at Saint John’s Eye Hospital that included dilatation, bandage contacts, and a minor surgery for about $20. I love my Palestinian healthcare.
The reason I can get such good medical treatment from Palestinian sources is because other countries underwrite them. For example, the French underwrite St. Joseph’s while the UK keeps St. John’s Hospital afloat. I am thankful for this humanitarian benevolence.
The Palestinians need help. However, the best help we could give them would be not to support their corrupt PLO and Hamas leadership. And we must pray for them. Most Arab Christians love and support Israel.
Israel spends such a large percentage of their annual budget on defense, yet somehow they manage to provide all the essentials for their residents. The most significant portion of US money given to Israel has been used to purchase the Iron Dome for defense. Israel spends its money defending its citizens, while the PLO spends its money providing for war to destroy Israel and the Jewish people.