Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid on Monday called on the international community to pull together a massive aid package for Gaza conditioned on the Palestinian Authority returning to power in place of the Islamic terrorist group Hamas.
Lapid said that the Western-leaning Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is the legitimate authority in Gaza, which was been blockaded since Hamas seized control there in 2007. If Hamas were removed, the blockade would end, achieving Hamas’ own stated purpose in its firing of rockets on Israel, Lapid said.
In a phone interview with the Associated Press, the finance minister argued that Israeli-Palestinian negotiations currently being mediated by Egypt should lead to a reopening of the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza, with the Gaza side controlled by the Palestinian Authority instead of Hamas. As a next step, he said, Abbas should be in charge of any aid the world community donates to the rehabilitation of Gaza, he said.
“I think this is possible,” Lapid said. “We have to remember that the PA was in charge of Gaza and is still the legal ruler of Gaza, and should be there instead of Hamas, which is a terror organization.” The involvement of the international community and the Arab world was needed to put pressure on the militants, so “we think we should involve the Arab world into the process, and we should involve the entire international community.”
“If they want to rebuild the place they live in, then they will have to accept,” Lapid said of Hamas.
A cease-fire is now underway, and Norway plans to host a donor conference at the beginning of September. Palestinian officials have said the costs of reconstruction would be at least $6 billion. The finance minister said Israel did not plan to participate with donations of its own.
Referencing the international criticism of Israel for the deaths of civilians, Lapid said that “legally we think that we are covered.”
“No other nation would have gone out of his way the way we did, trying to prevent innocent casualties. And if Hamas wasn’t using those children as human shields, none of this would have happened. But still it’s heartbreaking, and the death of anyone who is innocent is a tragedy.”
With all the nice things said about the “west-leaning” or moderate Abbas, I am not inclined to trust him. His own West Bank is riddled with terrorists who wish to kill Israelis, and sometimes do, as we saw with the three kedoshim. His education system is much like that of Hamas, indoctrinating their youth to fight “Israeli occupation”. The positive things he says to the media in English are almost opposite when he speaks to his constituency in Arabic. He is not pro-Israel, and he often takes the anti-Israel stand in the world scene. While he may be personable and speak politely, I do not believe he has Israel’s back. He might not prioritize terror or violence, but he ain”t Mr. Nice Guy either. Will he succeed in directing the monies from international aid to bypass the organs of terror? I lack the faith in him. Perhaps it is politically correct to have Abbas in Gaza rather than Hamas, but they still have a unity pact, and will still share the spoils of international aid. maybe they will not invest in tunneling. But who knows what’s next? Is Abbas reliable to insure that nothing unpeaceful occurs? I don’t trust him a bit.
Is Abbas and PA really so much better than Hamas? Are they not also condoning Terror? What have they done to arrest the murders of the 3 Bochrim? Will the PA have controll over the many smaller terror cells who will be smuggling deadly weapons on their own? Isn’t the PA not just as corrupt that can’t be trusted with $6b?
1. Hamas is well armed and disinclined to give up control of Gaza, not to mention agreeing to stop shooting at the Israelis.
2. Hamas did win the last election
3. Israel doesn’t really look forward to negotiations on final status since they would have to make major concessions to get a peace treaty (though Israel is in a strong position now, so perhaps they could offer to buy the Palestinians claims). In many ways, an annoying but not threatening Hamas is preferable to one that is reduced to being a powerless terrorist group operating totally underground.
Can somebody explain to me how all of a sudden the whole focus is on the blockade .
They were able to smuggle in thousands of rockets and build terror tunnels with no problem of a ” blockade “.
I too do not understand why the issue of blockade should be coming up. Hamas smuggled in a large cache of diverse weapons yet they claimed there is blockade. There is a UN resolution demanding that Hamas demilitarilize yet no one (not even Banky Moon and the confused UK and Latin American government) is saying anything about it. Hamas must demilitarilize and focus on economic wellbeing of its people and nothing else will do. Israel should be free from rockets attack too. Why is the world (especially the West) so afraid of Islamic extremists? Why must Muslims dominate evry sector to oppress others? The Muslims should and must respect others.
What’s wrong with the secular? Did they lose their brains? Have they already forgotten that Abbas is no better than Hamas in their terrorist activities?
Just this week “moderate” Abbas boasted having murdered 11,000 Israelis and his Fatah group calling for ethnic cleansing of Jews from Israel.
Did Lapid already forget the hundreds killed and maimed by “moderate” Fatah terrorist organization by suicide bombers and he wants this fox guarding the chicken coop?
Therein lies the problem with Leftists (such as Lapid and Livni), wishful thinking prevails, not reality.
How many times does Abbas have to prove that he’s a fraudulent “piece” partner for these dolts to get it?