While almost all media attention on the Hamas takeover in Gaza has focused almost exclusively on internal Palestinian politics, blame is being laid at the doorsteps of Egypt because of its cooperation with Hamas in allowing shipments of weapons, munitions and explosives that facilitated its takeover of the Gaza Strip last week
Hamas leaders have found a new haven in Cairo, and have been welcome guests in the highest level of the Egyptian government over the past few months.
By this past Friday, Hamas gained control of the entire Gaza Strip, including the borders with Egypt and Israel. This week, following their takeover of Gaza, Hamas has received an unprecedented amount of weapons smuggled from Sinai, including enhanced Katyusha rockets, anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles.
“Hamas got rid of Fatah, and Egypt is now allowing the transfer of all the weapons Hamas wants,” an Israeli military source told the Middle East Newsline.
Hamas has also acquired thousands of semi-automatic rifles and hundreds of rocket-propelled grenade launchers, mortars and other weapons from arsenals of the Presidential Guard and Preventive Security Apparatus.
Meanwhile, Egypt has now removed its military presence in Gaza. The Israel Defense establishment had hoped that Egypt would play a mediator role in preventing terror activity from Gaza. That hope has been dashed. Egypt’s role in helping forces hostile to Israel has instead placed Egypt on a war footing with Israel.
Hamas Leaders Indicted For
Receiving Terror Funds
The Israeli State Prosecutor’s Office has announced that leaders of Hamas who maintain two Jerusalem charities which act as funnels for Hamas terror activity have been indicted for laundering funds for terror activity.
The source of the funds is Saudi Arabia, often described in the media as a “moderate” state.
What has almost escaped public scrutiny is the fact that Saudi Arabia has acted as a sponsor of Hamas since its inception 20 years ago. Israel is alleging that the Saudis funnel shekels from “Charity Coalition” – an umbrella organization that encompasses Hamas charitable societies in Saudi Arabia – to nonprofit organizations in the A-Ram neighborhood of Jerusalem to conceal its final destination: the Hamas movement.
The first indictment accuses four officials in the A-Ram Charity Committee of receiving the monies from the Charity Coalition despite the fact that the organization had been outlawed. They will stand trial for channeling money to the Hamas. Three of the defendants are Arab Jerusalem residents of Israel while the fourth is a Jenin resident of the Palestinian Authority.
According to the second indictment, three other Arab Jerusalem members of Hamas were involved in terrorist activities, while conducting civilian activities through the educational foundations funded through Saudi Arabia.
Since both trials are expected to take place in Jerusalem, press attention will focus on Saudi assistance rendered to terrorist groups, at a time when the U.S. government continues to nurture its relationship with the Saudi kingdom, without the Bush administration ever associating the Saudis within the axis of evil … those nations that help terrorist organizations.
David Bedein can be reached at Media@actcom.co.il. His Web site is www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com
©The Bulletin 2007