Hamas was caught stealing electricity from a Gaza power line intended for civilian use amid reports of financial and humanitarian crises, according to a video released by Israel's military liaison to the Palestinians.
Maj-Gen. Yoav Mordechai posted the video on Sunday showing Hamas members attaching cables to electrical wires and illegally diverting electricity for their own terrorist purposes.
Israeli military surveillance cameras captured the footage a day earlier near Khan Younis in southern Gaza.
"The Hamas terror group continues stealing from the people of Gaza," Mordechai wrote in Arabic on his Facebook page adding, "this power was intended for hospitals and schools, but Hamas is uninterested in the populace and even exploits it. Watch the daylight robbery."
Mordechai also accused Hamas of stealing and re-selling fuel delivered to Gaza for economic gain.
Western media outlets have been recently focusing on a "humanitarian" and "financial" crisis in Gaza Strip — often blaming Israel or internal Palestinian rifts. But a major, and overlooked, factor behind the Palestinian territory's woes is Hamas itself. The terrorist organization and rulers of the Gaza Strip often re-route humanitarian goods and energy intended for civilians to fuel its militant ambitions.
Immediately after the 2014 summer war with Israel, Hamas began diverting cement and construction material meant for civilian rebuilding efforts.
The terrorist group, along with other Palestinian militant organizations, continue to invest heavily in offensive tunnels used for smuggling and to plot attacks inside Israel.
It seems that there is nothing Hamas won't do to enrich itself. It systematically exploits charities worldwide to finance its terrorist infrastructure at the expense of needy civilians.
In 2016, Shin Bet revealed that Hamas diverted "tens of millions of dollars" from World Vision, a U.S.-based Christian charity. Hamas reportedly siphoned 60 percent of the charity's resources in Gaza to reconstruct Hamas' tunnel network and military installations, in addition to buying weapons intended to kill Israelis.
This amount translated to roughly $7.2 million per year.
Hamas operatives even falsely listed their children as injured to collect money intended to help children in Gaza who were actually wounded.
In this backdrop, it should be no surprise that Hamas steals basic necessities from its own people.
Siphoning electricity from Gaza's residents is just one of so many episodes reaffirming the terrorist group's priority fighting Israel over the well-being of its own citizens and societal development.
Steven Emerson is executive director of The Investigative Project on Terrorism. He was a correspondent for CNN and a senior editor at U.S. News and World Report. Read more reports from Steve Emerson — Click Here Now.
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