Palestinians threaten to attack US troops

They seem confident that if the Biden administration rewards them for their malign behavior, it is working, so why not keep it up?

By Bassam Tawil, Gatestone Institute

More than $300 million has been spent by the Biden administration to construct a floating pier on the coast of the Gaza Strip to aid the local Palestinian population.

Rather than expressing gratitude to the US, the Palestinians have publicly denounced the Biden administration and warned Arabs and Palestinians not to cooperate with the project.

They seem confident that if the Biden administration is rewarding them for malign behavior, it is clearly working, so why not keep it up?

The Palestinians are hoping to scare the Americans and prevent them from cooperating with Israel on the future of the Gaza Strip after the war.

The US move coincides with the Iran-backed Hamas terrorist group is continuing to hold hostage more than 120 Israelis who were abducted from Israel on October 7, 2023, when Hamas launched its cross-border invasion from the Gaza Strip.

Based on the responses of Hamas and other terrorist groups, the pier will not help end the war or free the hostages.

The Biden administration did not, it seems, even demand that, in return for the humanitarian aid, the hostages be released or that the terrorists stop launching rockets into Israel.

Apparently, the Biden administration did not even request assurances that the aid would not be seized and diverted by the terrorists.

On May 18, as soon as the first relief supplies transported over the pier arrived in the Gaza Strip, a large number of Palestinians stopped the trucks and stole food — most likely to be sold in the local markets. According to Michal Cotler-Wunsh, Israel’s Special Envoy for Combatting Antisemitism:

“Unconditional ‘humanitarian aid’ to genocidal entities that systematically trample principles that anchor it – from countries, institutions, and mechanisms created and entrusted to uphold and protect them – is complicity that fuels gravest violators with impunity.”

Cotler-Wunsh was commenting on a report by veteran Israeli expert on Arab and Palestinian affairs Ehud Yaari, who revealed that Hamas has earned at least $500 million from the aid trucks entering the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the war in October 2023.

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Although the Biden administration’s action is guaranteed to increase the terrorists’ financial resources and assure that they have an ample supply of aid, Hamas and other Palestinians have no problem taking the aid and at the same time cursing the Americans and threatening to target US soldiers overseeing the delivery of the aid into the Gaza Strip.

They consider the presence of US troops in the region as another form of “occupation” and an unwelcome intervention in the internal affairs of the Arabs in the Middle East.

The Palestinians have a history of showing no gratitude to those who provide them with food, money and jobs.

When Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990, Palestinians there took to the streets to celebrate, although hundreds of thousands of them had been living and working in the Gulf country for many years.

After Kuwait was liberated by the US-led coalition a year later, the Kuwaitis deported 287,000 of the 357,000 Palestinians living there.

Since then, the majority of Arab countries have declined to give the Palestinians financial support. The Palestinians were quick to condemn the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain for signing normalization agreements with Israel four years ago, despite the fact that a large number of Palestinians live and work in these Gulf states.

The Palestinians’ accusations that the UAE and Bahrain had “betrayed” the Palestinian cause and Jerusalem strained relations between them and the Gulf states. Many Gulf residents responded by accusing the Palestinians of ingratitude.

Saudi columnist Hani Al-Zahiri called on the Palestinians to realize that their leaders have been maintaining the status quo in the Palestinian cause in order to benefit no one but themselves – and that is why they have rejected every peace initiative. “The situation of our Palestinian brothers is regrettable,” Al-Zahiri wrote.

“For over 60 years, their politicians have cashed in on their cause, and persisted in not reaching an arrangement, in destroying the negotiations, and in opposing every peace initiative, whether proposed by the Israelis or by other international elements.

The Palestinian politician has inflicted this on his cause and his people in order to profit from leaving things as they are, since the way he has chosen for decades was the only way to guarantee that he would remain in the picture and [benefit from the] influx of funds, donations and aid flowing from all directions, particularly from the Arab and Islamic world, into his coffers and his European bank accounts…

“I, as an Arab Muslim, am sorry about the situation of the Palestinian who has been bought and sold by his political leaders, and I wish them all the best [also wish him] an awakening from his coma and adoption of [a path] that will serve him and his future well.”

Evidently, the Palestinians have not learned from the past. Their criticism of the US pier is simply another example of their longstanding practice of insulting those who assist them.

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The Palestinians, however, are doing more than just criticizing the US. They are also threatening to attack US troops posted at the pier. The Palestinians are planning to launch terrorist attacks against US military servicemen.

On May 18, a number of Palestinian terrorist groups, including the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), warned of the dangers of the pier and said they would treat any foreign presence in the region as an “occupying force.” The PFLP said:

“The US administration’s establishment of a floating port on the coast of the Gaza Strip is a cause for concern, and we warn of the dangers of using it to implement other goals and plans, such as the displacement [of Palestinians] or protecting the [Israeli] occupation, and not to transport aid. We warn any Palestinian, Arab or international parties against coordinating with the American administration or working in this port.”

The PRC, for its part, said:

“We view with great danger the American floating pier dock and warn against it, as the American administration is a major partner and supporter of the Zionist aggression and war of annihilation against our people in the Gaza Strip. The pier is a service to the Zionist enemy and an act of propaganda and deception.”

The PRC also threatened to target US soldiers at the pier:

“We reject any Zionist or foreign presence on the shore of the Gaza Sea or its crossings, and any American, Zionist, or other force present on any inch of our land will be a legitimate target for our resistance.”

Although Hamas has apparently made a huge profit from the aid entering the Gaza Strip through the pier, and seems set to make even more, it accuses the Biden administration of “trying to beautify its ugly face and appear civilized.”

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Even the Palestinian Authority’s ruling Fatah faction, headed by President Mahmoud Abbas, has come out against the Biden administration’s pier in the Gaza Strip.

Fatah spokesman Abdel Fattah Dawla said that operating the American pier is “a consecration of the [Israeli] occupation of the crossing and a complete isolation of the Gaza Strip.” Dawla urged Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to be wary of any American attempt to use the pier as a crossing border to displace them. So now we have a representative of Abbas’s Fatah faction threatening to target US soldiers.

Did the Biden administration file a protest with Abbas or the PA over these threats? No. The Biden administration is too busy pressuring Israel not to launch military operations to eradicate Hamas’s four battalions in the Gaza Strip’s southern city of Rafah and release the Israeli hostages.

Palestinians, in the Gaza Strip, meanwhile, have been mocking the US pier.

“We don’t need the [US aid],” said Jamila Abu Arabiya, a woman from the Gaza Strip.

“Our homes are gone. Do they want to bring us some food, some potatoes and tomatoes and canned food? They should bring us back all our homes and stop the bloodshed.”

Hassan Abu Al-Kass, another resident of the Gaza Strip, said:

“They throw food at us like dogs, like beggars. That doesn’t work. It falls on houses, it falls on people. It brings us problems.”

So long as supplies are getting into the Gaza Strip, Hamas will not stop fighting or free the hostages.

Because of the Gaza pier, the Biden administration has made it immensely harder to free the hostages and end the war.