The U.S. finally drew the line with Hamas’ intrusive “audits” of aid organizations, and the group backed down.
But the “audit” game was only part of a larger move by Hamas to intimidate aid groups through sustained harassment at every turn, in order to remind them who they work for, at least if Hamas has its way. “Hamas imposes new restrictions on aid workers,” from the Associated Press, August 16:
JERUSALEM (AP) “” Palestinian rights groups are condemning new orders by Gaza’s Hamas rulers that employees of civil society groups register with authorities before traveling for work outside the Gaza Strip.
Gaza rights activist Hamdi Shakoura says the move is meant to restrict the freedoms of non-governmental groups. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights also issued a statement Tuesday criticizing the new orders after meeting with a network of aid groups in Gaza.
Hamas’ Deputy Interior Minister Kamel Abu Madi says employees must register with authorities two weeks before leaving and explain why they are traveling. They must also identify their hosts and list the names and details of all participants in any program they will attend.