Elaph an online Saudi-backed newspaper, published an article co-written by Avichay Adraee a spokesman for the Israeli army, Tuesday. The same newspaper had previously published an interview with, Israeli Chief of Staff, General Gadi Eizenkot, in November that it promoted as “the first of its kind for an Arab newspaper,”.
Tuesday’s article, entitled “Hamas: Thirty Years” was co-written by the Iraqi Kurdish writer Mehdi Majid Abdullah, and attacked Hamas claiming: “It never expressed the demands of Palestinians. It was a war musket used by Iran sometimes and other parties at other times.”
It also said that the movement is “a threat not only to Palestinians and the State of Israel, but also to the neighbouring countries.”
Although Saudi Arabia, along with the UAE and Egypt, classified the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, the Hamas movement, which is close to the group’s ideology, has not been included in this classification.
The article also accused Hamas of using “double standards, which is in the interest of its leaders only. Sometimes it supports Bashar al-Assad and attacks him later, and then shows support for its regime. At other times, it resorts to the Gulf States but turns against them too, and there are many other examples.”
The joint article stressed that the movement, “gave nothing to Palestinians except backwardness, ignorance and poverty, wasting the youth’s future and sowing hatred and resentment among them. Its control over the Gaza Strip for the last ten years is a good example.”
It said that, “Hamas received large donations from Arab and Western countries for the development and reconstruction of the Gaza Strip as a result of the wars and the destruction it suffered because of its aggression against Israel. But it did not use these aids and donations to boost development in the Gaza Strip, especially at the scientific, educational and economic levels. Hamas exploited this money rather to build a complete underground city.”
The article claimed that “Israeli military security reports revealed that Hamas has invested about $150mn million dollars since the end of the war in 2014 in tunnelling, and each tunnel costs $3m.”
The Palestinian resistance resorted to digging tunnels to break the Israeli siege imposed on Gaza several years ago, and these tunnels have become a major livelihood for the strip population; while several martyrs were killed as a result of the Israeli bombardment over the past years.
This is the first time that an Israeli army spokesman has written an article in an Arab newspaper, but he has been recurrently appearing on Arab satellite channels to comment on events in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Elaph is a news website founded on 21 May, 2001, by the Saudi journalist Othman Al-Omeir, the former editor of the Saudi newspaper Al-Sharq Al-Awsat.
The newspaper has a liberal view of world news in the fields of politics, economy, art, sports and other fields in Arabic. The website contains various sections that monitor the world and the Arabic region’s political, sports, social and artistic news.
Several Western and Arab press reports said there was a strong rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Israel, especially when the Hebrew newspaper Haaretz reported that Prince Mohammad bin Salman, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, secretly visited Tel Aviv last summer.
On Wednesday evening, Haaretz revealed that Israel’s intelligence (Mossad) minister Yisrael Katz sent an official invitation to the Saudi crown prince to visit Israel, at a time when the Arab and Islamic world is witnessing an unprecedented wave of anger over the US decision that recognized Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel.