Today’s Top Stories
1. According to Israeli media reports, Hamas executed dozens of it own tunnel diggers in recent weeks, “fearing the workers would reveal the site locations to Israel.” Other diggers were executed immediately after the completion of their tunnel.
3. Money talks. Globes reports that commitments from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to contribute to Gaza’s rehabilitation were what ultimately got Hamas to agree to another ceasefire.
One of the sources emphasized that Hamas insisted that Qatar contribute funds for Gaza rehabilitation. However, because Jerusalem and Cairo are wary of Qatar’s increasing influence in the Gaza Strip, under the leadership of Hamas political chairman Khaled Mashal, Saudi Arabia and the UAE were recruited for the project of rebuilding the Gaza Strip after Operation Protective Edge.
The source noted that this process is expected to weaken Qatar and Hamas’ influence abroad, with regards to what goes on in Gaza. According to the source, the Saudi funds are contingent upon Saudi oversight, so that the funds will not be used to build tunnels or for military purpose, but only for the welfare of the residents.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Bloomberg News takes a closer look at the Arab alignment against Hamas that’s silently supporting Israel.
• According to PLO figures, Israel destroyed 63 Gaza mosques and damaged another 150 used to store weapons, hide tunnels, launch rockets, or serve as command and control centers. So where’s the groundswell of Arab outrage, asks the Washington Post.
Surprisingly, there has been little outrage from the Palestinian street or from the broader Muslim world. Violent upheavals across the Middle East, political analysts say, have acclimated Muslims to seeing their houses of worship under siege. Arabic news channels and Facebook and other social media have been filled with scenes of mosques pocked with bullets and damaged by attacks in recent conflicts and revolutions in Egypt, Syria and Libya. The shock value is over, say analysts . . .
The absence of much umbrage in the Arab world is also a reflection of its overall detachment to the Gaza conflict, analysts said.
• Meet Ghada Owais, Al-Jazeera’s pro-Hamas mouthpiece.
• Hamas somehow managed to bring a few million dollars into Gaza to pay salaries for the first time in two months, reports the Times of Israel.
• In the world of academia, University of Cape Town students “adopted a proposal pushing for Boycott, Sanction, and Divest measures against Israel for all student-run organizations and events.”
University management must this week decide whether to adopt it. Jewish students fear their campus organization may be banned, and that they are in for a nightmarish period.
More encouragingly, Penn State-Harrisburg is looking for an alternative organization after dropping out of the American Studies Association. Last week, the ASA called for the end of US support for Israel. Penn State-Harrisburg’s chairman of American studies told the Harrisburg Patriot News why he’s not buying the ASA line.
“This is one-sided, propagandistic and also inappropriate for a learning society,” said Simon Bronner, a professor and chairman of the American Studies Program at Penn State Harrisburg.
• Dennis Ross: Hamas could have chosen peace. Instead, it made Gaza suffer.
• For more commentary, see Alex Ryvchin (Language and law in Israel’s war with Hamas), Charles Moore (The West ignores the real practitioners of disproportionate violence), Elhanan Miller (Why isn’t Gaza rising up against Hamas?), Ronen Bergman (How Hamas beat Israel in Gaza), Benny Morris (When did Britain faith in Israel?) Daniel Kurtzer (Mideast peace will only come with international help), David Harris (To the weekend protesters), Yossi Beilin (Rockets on Ben Gurion, and other lessons), and Ron Ben-Yishai (Israel won’t get dragged into war of attrition). And finally, Fisk’s being Fisk again.
Featured image: CC BY-NC-SA flickr/Paul Gannaway, mosque via YouTube/Hot news