Goods entering Gaza through the Kerem Shalom crossing.SAID KHATIB/AFP/Getty Images
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Hamas Tries, Fails to Smuggle Tactical Shooting Gloves into Gaza

As the strip’s population suffers, the terrorist organization remains focused on violence

Liel Leibovitz
October 23, 2017
Goods entering Gaza through the Kerem Shalom crossing.SAID KHATIB/AFP/Getty Images

Life in Hamas-governed Gaza is a festering hell, with 96 percent of the strip’s water reportedly unsafe to drink, most of its electrical infrastructure having collapsed, and more than 40 percent of its population unemployed. Addressing these issues, the terrorist organization has responded by using children as human shields, embezzling humanitarian aid funds, and stepping up its efforts to smuggle weapons and tactical aids into Gaza.

Yesterday, Israeli soldiers intercepted a shipment of thousands of tactical shooting gloves meant for Hamas. If this doesn’t seem like much of a big deal—gloves, after all, aren’t guns—consider the story’s larger implications. The shipment was concealed inside a truck containing goods approved by Israel, which means that rather than protecting itself to the best of its ability against a belligerent and murderous foe committed to its destruction, the Jewish state still allows—at a considerable risk and at a significant cost—for necessary supplies to find their way into Gaza, a gesture that Hamas’s neighbors to the south, Egypt, aren’t too keen on replicating. Any organization even remotely interested in governing would’ve embraced Israel’s leniency, making sure it maximized the number of essentials needed to secure the health and safety of its citizens. Hamas, however, has no interest in any goal other than the continuation of its war on Israel, which is why the group is stepping up its smuggling efforts. Last year, according to Israel’s Ministry of Defense, Hamas attempted to smuggle contraband into Gaza 1,226 times, a 165 percent increase over the previous year. The contraband included drones, scuba diving gear, as well as ball bearings popular in improvised explosive devices.

“Hamas tries time and again to use Israeli civilian policies for the terror purposes it is advancing at the expense of the civilian population in the Gaza Strip,” said Colonel Fares Attila, head of the Defense Ministry’s Coordination and Liaison Department.“We will continue to thwart and prevent exploitation of the civilian policies for terror purposes and the needs of the Hamas terror organization.”

Liel Leibovitz is editor at large for Tablet Magazine and a host of its weekly culture podcast Unorthodox and daily Talmud podcast Take One.

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