You wrote: "Equally, Hamas was also a provider of welfare benefits in money and in kind." Yes, and at first the Israeli government supported "non-violent Islamist activities" such as these (Hamas, Matthew Levitt, Yale University Press, 2006, p. 24). It turned out, unfortunately, that these activities were intimately tied to Hamas's terrorist agenda. As Matthew Levit goes on to write, "Despite evidence to the contrary, there persists in the minds of many observers an ethical distinction between the...welfare projects that aid needy Palestinians and its military wing, known for suicide bombers that target Israeli civilians..."; in fact, the links between the social welfare projects and the terrorist activities "are symbiotic and have been intertwined since the founding of Hamas in 1987." (p. 33). Recruiting for terrorist activities takes place precisely through the social welfare projects, for example.
Attempted stabbing of Israeli soldier in Hebron; Palestinian female attacker shot dead (Haaretz)
from the article: Analysis: French Lebanon talks are kowtowing to Hezbollah
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