Candle protest in Gaza
Fuel depot attacked on Wednesday
Photo: Tsafrir Abayov
Hamas is presenting a distorted picture of reality in the Gaza Strip and creating a phony humanitarian crisis in order to score points, a senior IDF officer charged Thursday evening.
Referring to the latest terror attack at Nahal Oz, Colonel Nir Press, who heads the Erez Crossing Coordination Office, told Ynet that the attack is part of the campaign led by Hamas, aimed at "creating a false display of crisis in order to gain international legitimacy."
The claims made by Hamas regarding a supposed humanitarian crisis in the Strip have turned out to be false, Press said.
"The buds of this phenomenon emerged at the end of 2007, when we heard claims that gas used by hospitals in Gaza has run out, making it impossible to use operation rooms," the senior officer said. "We immediately brought in large quantities… Hamas' objective in that case was to direct an accusatory finger at Israel, as if it undermines the operation of hospitals."
'We have nothing against Palestinian civilians'Press said Hamas established a special body, The Popular Committee for Fighting the Siege on the Gaza Strip, in order to make accusations against Israel.
"For example, they started to count the number of patients who died of disease in the Strip and blamed us for failing to provide treatment," he said. "When the list reached 60 people we undertook a thorough examination and discovered that 20 of them were treated in Israel, while the rest did not even ask to enter Israel for treatment."
"In the past year, the defense establishment allowed more than 7,000 patients and a similar number of escorts to enter Israel for treatment," he said. "Had these 40 patients asked for it, they would have received the same permit."
"Hamas realizes that its situation on the Palestinian street is difficult, and every such accusation resonates in the media and creates international support," Press added. "In reality, the ones who cut off
the electricity supply in January were Hamas."
Press also stressed that Israel has no interest in creating a humanitarian crisis in the Strip.
"At the end of the day we have nothing against the Palestinian population," he said. "We're not fighting it, but rather, the terror groups. It is sad to see those engaged in terror using innocent civilians in order to gain power."