Gaza, hunt for aid in the destroyed Strip –

GAZA – La dirt road cuts through the fields eastwards and towards the watchtower on the other side of the barrier. Prickly pears act as a thorny guardrail, the plant is a symbol for both Palestinians and Israelis (sabra in Hebrew it is the nickname of the first pioneers), both admire his biting determination. In addition to the paramilitaries in light-colored camouflage, it is forbidden to go, around them other groups of men sit in the shade who have left the camouflage at home. They spend the whole day here, they’ve already been there on Fridays from the early hours of the truce until sunset, they look at the excavators nearby, they wait to see if a body emerges from the sand, their comrades are down there.

Israel-Gaza, the conflict: insights

“I do not answer”. No one among the militiamen speaks but in Khan Younis everyone knows that on day 4 of the war some of them went down into the tunnel system to supply them with food and water, while the commanders of the Ezzedin Al Qassam Brigades believed that the Israelis were about to invade the Strip. . It was a ruse and, buried in the air-bombed tunnels, that vanguard remained. How many there are – about twenty corpses have been recovered so far – could make a difference for the Israeli government, which has pursued an image of victory until the end.

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Maybe it’s too late. Mohammed Deif – the military leader of Hamas, born in Khan Younis – is already the most celebrated among fundamentalist leaders, the darkness of the underground in which he has lived for 30 years has helped to illuminate the legend even among the Palestinians of East Jerusalem and the West Bank. All against the respect given to President Abu Mazen, who has been in power for 16 years: yesterday the first parliamentary elections since 2006 should have been held – the raìs announced and canceled them. then Hamas had won them, which a year later took control of the Strip from the Ramallah Authority with a coup.

So the game for hearts and minds – as American General Stanley McChrystal in Afghanistan called it – passes through the donor wallet and who should have access to it. Joe Biden from the White House reiterates that any funding for the reconstruction of Gaza will be paid to the Abu Mazen government. “The problem is that there is no transparency – explains Omar Shaban, founder of the independent organization PalThink – and countries hesitate to pay the promised figures to the Palestinian Authority because they fear they will be lost. It already happened with the donors’ conference after the war in the summer of 2014 ».

Qatar has decided to open its representation – a cube of white marble on the seafront of the Strip – and the hundreds of millions of dollars carried in the suitcases by the ambassador have been distributed to Hamas. With the approval of the Benjamin Netanyahu government. “In this way, the Israelis have actually allowed the fundamentalists to strengthen themselves – continues Shaban –. I propose to create a special fund, with a guarantee council, which establishes the priorities and supervises the use of aid ”. The small emirate of the Gulf, in search of diplomatic greatness, makes deliveries in cash and it becomes impossible to verify how they are used. Six hundred families are still waiting to receive contributions to rebuild the houses destroyed in the nearly two months of conflict between July and August seven years ago.

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Abdelhadi Musallam has yet to return the money he then asked to friends and relatives. To make the family building in the Bureij refugee camp habitable again, he needed $ 8,000, in the Strip over half of the two million inhabitants live below the extreme poverty line, set by the bureaucrats of despair at $ 1.90 a day. Local UN officials told him to advance the amount, it would be refunded as soon as his name was on the list. “I’m still waiting. In the meantime, this has happened, ”he says as he kneads the concrete and repairs the gaps in the roof. The house next door was targeted last week, it belongs to a Hamas commander, the concrete and metal blocks flew across the alley, they also devastated Abdelhadi’s rooms. The UN estimates that in these 11 days of conflict – almost 250 Palestinians killed by bombing, 13 Israelis killed by rockets launched by fundamentalists – 2,000 homes have been destroyed, 17,000 damaged.

May 22, 2021 (change May 22, 2021 | 22:44)



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