UPDATES 2 pm Israel time, Monday, October 14 2013:
*In a highly unusual report, a branch of the European Union (the European Court of Auditors based in Luxembourg), has severely criticized the European Commission and in particular EU Foreign Minister Catherine Ashton for not tracking some 2.5 billion Euros handed over to the Palestinians during the years 2008-2012. The money, by the way, was being funded not only to the PLO (aka the Palestinian Authority) in Judea and Samaria, but also to Hamas in Gaza.
The report details how no accounting procedures whatsoever were in place to deal with the funds, and that no one knows how the money went. The report concludes that there is “concern that the money was not used properly or disappeared because of corruption.”
Could this report be any more of a joke? Everyone knows that a huge percentage of money donated to the Palestinians goes straight into the pockets of PLO and Hamas officials–all of whom have accounts in banks from Switzerland to Dubai. This theft of money is precisely why the Arab “donor” countries have virtually stopped funding the Palestinians. But the European Union and the United States never seem to get it.
Try to wrap your mind around this.
During the last two years, Palestinian Hamas terrorists built a 1.7 km long tunnel from Absan al-Zarir in Gaza to a field 300 meters inside southern Israel near Kibbutz Ein HaShlosha.
The tunnel is constructed of more than 500 tons of concrete blocks and concrete arches made in Israel and transported into Gaza by the IDF’s COGAT division. The tunnel, complete with electrical cables supplying halogen light, and phone lines stretching its length, has an average depth of 18 meters and a maximum depth of 22 meters.
So are you following this? A gigantic terrorist tunnel was built from Gaza into Israel by Israeli-supplied materials.
Now try to wrap your mind around this.
Yesterday, when the tunnel was revealed to the media, the IDF paraded every IDF spokesman under the sun to crow about how the IDF had used intelligence and technological tools to find the tunnel.
But what the IDF actually revealed was a completely inept IDF General Staff–and in particular Southern Command–that not only did not seem to be aware that there might be any tunnels between Gaza and Israel but also ignored constant reports from Israeli citizens concerning “underground noises” in the area.
Apparently it was not even until January of this year, when another large Hamas tunnel collapsed in Israel because of heavy rains revealing a warren of other tunnels–that the IDF even imagined that Hamas might be tunneling into Israel despite the fact that Hamas had built more than 1000 tunnels from Gaza into Egypt.
And this particular tunnel, built with jackhammers, power drills, and shovels produced a tremendous amount of noise–-all of which was reported by Israeli citizens living all around the tunnel location to the IDF as far back as early 2011.
Adding to the IDF buffoonery were two comments issued yesterday, one from Maj. Gen. Eitan Danot of COGAT who declared yesterday that the transfer of construction materials that his own unit facilitates into Gaza should be stopped.
However, the most astonishing comments of the day had to come from Maj. Gen. Sami Turgeman, the totally incompetent commander IDF commander in the South who was appointed to his position by the totally incompetent IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz.
Turgeman actually began his unbelievable media message by repeating the canard that Hamas should be praised for helping stem the violence coming into Israel since November of last year.
He then blabbered on with the usual hollow threats so common to the IDF these days:
“This is a gross breach of Israeli sovereignty, and if Hamas realizes its terrorist intentions, especially using a tunnel, it will pay a heavy price, and the Gaza Strip will not be the same.”
But then Turgeman’s blather turned into sheer lunacy:
“Hamas continues to become stronger and fortify, and has been cynically taking advantage of our good intentions when we let construction materials in the Strip for the private sector, for civilians.”
Your humble servant does not know whether to laugh or cry. And to think that Turgeman is in charge of defending the men, women, and children of southern Israel.
*Addendum: We citizens of Ashdod received the good news this morning–which was publicly announced by the IDF–that an Iron Dome battery has been placed back in Ashdod again.