Hamas leaders have paid out $40 million in compensation to Gaza families that had their homes destroyed in Operation Protective Edge, the “New York Times” reports. Each family has received $2, 000, Mousa Abu Marzook, Deputy Chairman of Hamas’s political arm is quoted as saying.
Abu Marzook and Ismail Haniya, Hamas leader in Gaza, yesterday toured parts of the Gaza Strip including Beit Hanoun. They were accompanied by “New York Times” Jerusalem Bureau Chief Jodi Rudoren who described the enthusiasm with which they were greeted and the destruction they saw. “These buildings were the gates to the victory, ” declatred Haniya.
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“More than a week after an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire agreement halted 50 days of fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza, little has changed on the ground. Electricity is still scarce, residents have to line up to collect clean water, and there is no word when the promised materials for reconstruction might arrive, in what quantities and under whose supervision, ” the “New York Times writes.
“Having given up official control of Gaza’s ministries in June to a new Palestinian government that has yet to take hold here – a picture of Mr. Haniya, a former prime minister, still hangs in the office of the education chief – Hamas paradoxically seems to be politically in its strongest position in years.”
Hamas shifts responsibility for reconstruction to the Palestinian Authority, “This is the responsibility of Mahmoud Abbas because now he is responsible for the government, ” said Mahmoud al-Zahar, referring to the president of the Palestinian Authority and leader of the rival Fatah faction. “We are not responsible.”
Ziad el-Zaza, the former deputy prime minister and finance minister, said Hamas “would not be blamed because Hamas leaders were in the front lines and they suffered losses” – his own four-story house was leveled – and because “those who offered relief to the people are also Hamas, those who go and comfort people are Hamas.”
“Hamas is functioning; they gave the people $2, 000, ” complained the minister, Mofeed M. Al Hassina. “The money gives you the power, gives you everything. They’re stronger than us as a government.”
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news – www.globes-online.com