Gaza,  Israel/Palestine

Israelis say Hamas blocks delivery of aid to Gaza

I think this erases any doubts about how Hamas viewed the “Freedom Flotilla” and how much it cares about the humanitarian needs of the people in Gaza:

Hamas is blocking the delivery of the humanitarian aid that arrived on the Gaza flotilla, defense establishment sources said on Wednesday. Hamas has yet to respond to the claims.

Security sources told Ynet that elements from the Defense Ministry’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories unit (COGAT) have been in contact with bodies from the international community and the Palestinian Authority, in order to ensure that the humanitarian equipment enters the Strip.

However, the sources said, they have been unsuccessful, due to difficulties and obstacles placed by Hamas.

According to the security sources, despite Hamas’ objection, the unloading of the goods at Ashdod Port continues. Port workers and Defense Ministry elements have been working to unload the cargo since the ships docked on Monday, and Tuesday night, eight trucks containing medical equipment, toys, clothing and medicine arrived at the Kerem Shalom crossing.

The cargo was unloaded at the crossing, but has yet to be transferred to the Palestinian side. The Israel Defense Forces, the Defense Ministry, and government sources will continue with their attempts to coordinate the transfer of the goods into Gaza.

Update: Khaled Abu Toameh of The Jerusalem Post reports:

Hamas refused on Wednesday to allow the aid equipment that was captured by the IDF aboard the flotilla ships earlier this week to enter the Gaza Strip.

“We refuse to receive the humanitarian aid until all those who were detained aboard the ships are released,” said Ahmed Kurd, Minister for Social Welfare in the Hamas government said. “We also insist that the equipment be delivered in its entirety.”

Kurd said that Israel’s decision to allow a number of wheelchairs to be delivered to the Gaza Strip was a “deception,” claiming that the batteries that operate them had been removed, making them useless.

The Hamas minister said that Israel’s decision to send some of the aid that was seized aboard the ships to the Gaza Strip was designed to divert attention from the “massacre” that took place in the sea.

How would he know that the batteries were removed from the wheelchairs if they haven’t been delivered?