When last we saw the "heroic resistance fighters" of Hamas, they had temporarily stopped shelling Israeli cities in the wake of an Israeli incursion aimed at neutering their ability to terrorize. Since then, it has been reported that Hamas summarily executed dozens of people it suspected of supporting either the Israelis or the secular Fatah movement. Rocket fire resumed this week, hitting the town of Ashqelon.
Now comes word that Hamas officers stole emergency relief aid that the United Nations sent to needy refugees. The "3,500 blankets and more than 400 food parcels [were] meant to help hundreds of families in the Gaza City Beach Camp."
"They were armed and we were not," said UNRWA spokesman Christopher Gunness.
In Wednesday’s New York Daily News, Matt Levitt warns that $20 million in emergency U.S. aid for Gaza could meet the same fate unless some safeguards are created. Levitt wrote the book on Hamas financing and is frequently tapped as an expert witness by federal prosecutors in terror finance cases.
The U.S. Agency for International Development previously sent money to Gaza charities publicly tied to Hamas, Levitt writes, including the Hamas-controlled Islamic University of Gaza.
He suggests making future recipients submit information about their leadership that can be checked to ensure their independence:
"Aid organizations are sure to protest the extra administrative burden. But the critical need to provide humanitarian aid in conflict zones must be balanced with the risk that terrorist groups will try to benefit from that aid."
USAID is resisting new rules creating such a control system. The Obama administration needs to ensure no more tax money ends up in the hands of a designated terrorist organization.