|A tunnel made of imaginary cement|
The head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) stressed on Sunday that there is no proof that the construction material entering Gaza through his organisation was used for “military purposes”, Safa news agency has reported.I had seen this quoted in other Arab media as well as Iranian media.
Robert Piper’s comment was made in a film broadcast by Sky News about the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip.
Al Resalah, a Hamas mouthpiece, praised Piper's assertion.
Palestinian parliamentarian and senior Hamas leader Yahiya Mousa said the UN denial that cement has been used for military purposes is a move on the right direction. Mousa called the UN to take a stand that would lift the Israeli siege on Gaza, saying Israel fakes up lies to further tighten the siege on Gaza.I tweeted Piper on Monday morning to allow him to confirm or deny this statement but as of this writing did not receive a response.
If he in fact said this, it would be an astounding example of willful blindness by the UN. In January, Ban Ki Moon said he was "alarmed" after Hamas explicitly promised to continue to build tunnels despite the deaths of many of its tunnel workers. Only two weeks ago, Moon condemned tunnel that Israel discovered as a dangerous and provocative move that undermines attempts to rehabilitate the Gaza Strip.
So what is the evidence that Hamas is using cement for military purposes?
- We know that Hamas is still building tunnels - they say it explicitly and we have seen terrorists killed while building them.
- We know that cement is necessary to build tunnels deep under Gaza.
- We know that cement that is earmarked to help ordinary Gazans is being sold on the black market.
- We know that very little cement can be smuggled in from Egypt, if any, as Egypt has destroyed the vast majority of tunnels on the Rafah border.
- We have known since 2014 that the system that allows cement to enter Gaza was rife with corruption and that Hamas has been taking advantage of it to enrich themselves and to grab more cement.
But apparently Robert Piper and the UN prefer to turn a blind eye to what is happening literally under their noses.
In fact, the UN is spending money producing professional videos ostensibly about Gaza reconstruction but instead concentrating on how Israel, for no reason whatsoever, just decided to bomb civilians in Gaza and now restricts reconstruction. No mention of rockets or tunnels or weapons caches, no shots of armed Hamas or Islamic Jihad terrorists, no names of the homeless people so we could research which of their relatives were the target of the bombs that destroyed their houses and why they have been denied cement so far while allowing tens of thousands of other Gazans to rebuild.
My guess is that the UN spent at least $100 for each of the 130 people who viewed this video in the past three weeks.
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