Daily Banking News

Gantz: Can’t guarantee some of the aid to rebuild Gaza won’t go to Hamas

Israel supports efforts to rebuild Gaza, even though some percentage of the aid will likely go to Hamas terrorists, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said in a briefing on Sunday.

Gantz said that dual-use products, which can be used for construction but also for terrorism, must be closely supervised.

“I’m not naïve; some of the materials we let in will go to Hamas,” Gantz said in a briefing. “In the end, it’s complicated. You need cement to build, and some of it goes to the terror tunnels.”

While in the past, the IDF and Shin Bet worked to stop weapons smuggling into Gaza, in recent years, Hamas as moved to manufacturing its own arms, the defense minister said.

“The more we work with the Egyptians, the less their ability will be to manufacture [weapons]. We also took out [Hamas’s] top two layers of research and development, and I hope that will have an influence,” Gantz said.

His remarks came two days after US President Joe Biden said that his country would help rebuild Gaza without allowing aid to get to Hamas. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken plans to visit the region on Wednesday and Thursday, and Israeli officials said that the matter would likely come up in his meetings in Jerusalem.

Gantz said Israel plans to work with the US, EU and others on rebuilding Gaza, and the defense ministry is working on coming up with a better system to supervise the transfer of donor funds into the coastal enclave. He is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss the matter on Monday.

The defense minister said he is in favor of reviving the Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism (GRM) created by Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the UN after Operation Protective Edge in 2014, which allowed for millions of tons of construction material into the Gaza Strip under Israeli supervision to prevent the aid from being stolen by Hamas.

When asked why things would be different now, if the GRM didn’t stop Hamas from stealing cement and other products to build tunnels and manufacture arms over the past seven years, Gantz responded: “That’s why we took out their factories, the R&D people and their ability to develop and manufacture.”

Blinken called to support the reconstruction and development of Gaza in televised interviews on Sunday.

“Our focus right now relentlessly is on dealing with the humanitarian situation, starting  to do reconstruction and rebuild, and engage intensely with everyone, with Palestinians, with Israelis, with partners in the region,” Blinken said on CNN.

The Biden administration would ensure aid does not go to Hamas by working with “trusted, independent parties that can help do the reconstruction and the development, not some quasi-governmental authority.”

Hamas, he added, “has brought nothing but ruin to the Palestinian people: its gross mismanagement of Gaza while it’s been in charge, and of course, these indiscriminate rocket attacks on Israeli civilians, which have elicited the response that they did because Israel has a right to defend itself.”

Gantz also said that Israeli civilian captives – Abera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed – and missing soldiers – Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul – would have to be returned before Gaza can be rebuilt.

“I separate basic humanitarian [aid] of food, medicines, water and electricity that we must let people have, from a higher level of humanitarian [aid] that must be conditioned on [returning] the captives and missing,” he said.

European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrrell wrote about his frustration about continually paying for the cost of the IDF-Hamas conflict.

“The EU cannot be expected to finance yet again the…

Read More: Gantz: Can’t guarantee some of the aid to rebuild Gaza won’t go to Hamas

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Get more stuff like this
in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.