Israeli army phones Gazans to slam Hamas, Palestinians say
Recorded message reportedly from Israeli military accuses Hamas of spending funds on terrorism instead of on population.
Palestinians living in Gaza said they received phone calls from the Israeli military on Friday accusing the Hamas government of spending funds on terrorism instead of on the enclave's residents.
According to a report by AFP, which appeared in the London-based daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi over the weekend, Gaza residents said that calls from the Israeli army on their cellphones featured a recorded message criticizing Hamas for failing to provide for civilians. Speaking in fluent Arabic, a male voice said the message comes from the Israel Defense Forces, the report said.
The message tells Gazans that Hamas is investing money in digging cross-border tunnels to be used in terror attacks against Israel and that it would be better if these funds were used to improve the quality of life in Gaza, especially in areas such as health, education and basic infrastructure, a resident told AFP.
The report added that Gazans were told that use of the money to dig tunnels was a primary reason for the inflation and high cost of living in the Gaza Strip.
No conformation was received from the IDF.
The army announced last week that it found a tunnel leading from Gaza into southern Israel, near Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha, that it said could have been used to carry out attacks on Israelis. It was the third such tunnel the IDF has discovered since last year.
One such tunnel was used by Palestinian militants to enter Israel in 2006 and abduct IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. On Saturday Hamas marked the second anniversary of the deal it reached with Israel to win the release of 1,027 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Shalit’s freedom.
Hamas’ military wing, Iz al-Din al-Qassam, and the Popular Resistance Committees threatened to abduct more Israeli soldiers as a way of getting Israel to free additional prisoners. The groups said in a statement that the Shalit deal proves that abducting soldiers is the most effective way to “break the Zionist handcuffs."