Nearly two weeks ago, two sisters were arrested while smuggling explosives from Gaza into Israel. One of them had acquired a travel permit to enter Israel in order to receive cancer treatment, and the explosives were hidden inside a pill bottle. This is a prime example of Hamas’s abuse of humanitarian need and medical coordination with Israel, to engage in terrorism.
Unfortunately, these are some of the ways that humanitarian aid, human rights and peace have been weaponized in the service of terrorism by Palestinian groups.
In parallel, the self-proclaimed protectors of these values, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that claim to promote human rights, erase this reality, as if Israel does not face a persistent terrorism threat. Instead, Palestinian, Israeli and international NGOs repeatedly and consistently accuse Israel of arbitrarily restricting Palestinian “freedom of movement” and “right to health.”
The first step toward correcting these NGOs is to acknowledge the facts, as difficult as this may be for ideological groups. Hamas steals aid. It smuggles explosives in the medicine of cancer patients. During times of armed conflict with Israel, its leaders convert hospitals into command centers and fire rockets from nearby.
Yet, NGOs continue to deny this reality. PHR-I ignores evidence that it collected of Hamas using hospitals to launch attacks. MAP refers to members of Palestinian Islamic Jihad as “paramedics” in order to accuse Israel of attacking medical workers. Gisha argues that there is no point to restricting what goes into Gaza since Hamas can build tunnels and munitions using materials already there – an absurd claim.