Hamas’ economic center in Turkey has grown over the years thanks to the murky relationship between the two countries. But now, after the Herzog-Erdogan meeting, relations are renewed, and the organization’s source of funding may be harmed as well: How did the PA’s revenues increase by 16% compared to the average?
“We are following with deep concern the visits of senior members of the Zionist entity to the countries of the region,” read a statement issued last night by Hamas in the Gaza Strip, following the visit of President Yitzhak Herzog to Turkey. “These states serve as a strategic depth for the Palestinian people. Do not give the Zionist entity an opportunity to penetrate the region and play with the interests of its peoples.”
Despite the condemnation, it is a very moderate wording compared to previous condemnation statements issued by Hamas, such as the normalization agreement with the Emirates. The wording of the announcement clearly indicates the great concern of the Palestinian organization for its economic fate located in Turkey. The Globes revealed the Hamas-based economic apparatus in Turkey, where it is linked to real estate and investment companies that provide funding to the organization, including its terrorist arm.
Hamas arrived in Turkey after being thrown out of Saudi Arabia in 2017, and its activities have also been curtailed in other countries in the region following American pressure, and due to its definition as a terrorist organization in the United States and the European Union. In addition, Hamas’ economic center in Turkey has grown as a result of the poor relations and frictions between Ankara and Jerusalem, but now it seems that relations are heating up again. It can be said with almost certainty that the issue was mentioned in talks between President Herzog and Turkish President Erdogan, and the question will be what would the Turkish president, who had previously sent “humanitarian” aid to Hamas through protest flotillas, do now.
The New (Mediterranean) Middle East
Another aspect concerning Yitzhak Herzog’s visit to Turkey is the field of energy. The Istmed gas pipeline, which was planned to pass through the Mediterranean from Israel to Europe via Greece, Turkey and Italy, is very necessary, but it is stuck due in part to high costs. The alternative now is the existing gas pipeline in Turkey. Theoretically, Israeli gas and not just Israeli, could move to Europe through the Turkish pipeline, thus reducing the leverage of Russian pressure on northern Europe.
The vision goes much further, and Israel aims to be the one to bridge the disputes over the Mediterranean gas issue between Greece and Cyprus and Turkey. Recall that Greece and Cyprus do not recognize the economic legitimacy of Turkish Cyprus, and there is a disputed area around gas exploration north of the island. Also, Turkey claims that the dispersal of the islands of Greece gives the country much more than it really deserves.
Some would say that this is a particularly utopian vision because of the bad blood in the region, and certainly following the position of Egypt, Israel’s close partner in the gas field.
By the way, Israeli gas began to reach Egypt through the Jordanian pipeline crossing the country from north to south and moving to Egypt from Aqaba to Sinai. The increase in quantities, which was first published in Globes, also allows Egypt to transfer gas that it liquefies at its facilities, to Europe that is thirsty for the heating energy liquid.
VAT Against Terrorism
In the Palestinian Authority, they rubbed their eyes in astonishment in recent weeks when they examined the tax revenues, and especially the value-added tax that Israel collects for the PA. The monthly income in February jumped by no less than 720 million – an increase of 16% compared to the monthly average so far.
This increase is first and foremost attributed to the digitization process in trade reports between Israeli and Palestinian merchants and companies. The process suddenly erased much of the “black” conduct of trade, which included the disappearance of transactions and revenues from both the PA and Israel. Until now, the transaction was reported only manually and with paper invoices, which allowed merchants to make missing reports, income tax evasions and VAT. Since the beginning of February, a digital system has been introduced that requires all Palestinian merchants and most Israelis to pass all transactions. , Merchants need to present the certificate of validity of the transaction and the digital reporting – otherwise they will not be able to pass.
This move joins a positive economic trend in the Palestinian Authority that stems mainly from changes and facilitation in the areas of trade, industry and crossings. All this along with a change in the political atmosphere in Israel that allows for more and more relief. The direct meaning is to prevent the deterioration of the security situation. A good economy reduces terrorism and riots, a formula that is proven time and time again.
It should be noted that although there are still quite a few attempts to hit, the vast majority of which are thwarted in advance, and the stone-throwing continues, most of the Palestinian street is in no hurry to go out against Israel. All this despite a variety of opportunities, such as the escape of prisoners from Gilboa Prison, the elimination of terrorists in Nablus and Jenin, the violent incidents in Sheikh Jarrah and more.
Reducing the need for manpower
“Space Corps”, “IDF Eyes”, and other nicknames were associated with Unit 9900 of the Intelligence Division, which began as a mapping unit and became one of the world leaders in the field of information gathering, analysis and access to a battlefield commander. Dimensional), and through it in 9900 receive glider visual information, such as UAVs and satellites, along with human intelligence information on the location of terrorists, slavery and the like.
The information is processed using artificial intelligence in a short time, and the commander in the field receives the information directly to his battle computer in an accessible, and especially three-dimensional, way. The information provided by the project includes possible directions of firing of the terrorist squads, location of explosives, as well as suggestions for action plans and the use of various weapons or auxiliary units.
Those who participated in the Second Lebanon War and predicted a failure when it comes to transferring intelligence to combat units, realizing how much of a real revolution this is. The first time that it was used extensively in operations was in the “Guard of the Walls” operation in May 2021. Among other things, information received from surveillance satellites was used to locate rocket firing squads in Israel and destroy them.
The unit’s soldiers, the vast majority of whom are young people in their early twenties, with 60% of them women, are leaning on computers. What is seen on the screen is reminiscent of battle games such as Fortnite. In addition, within 9900 there is a combat area unit of skimmer operators and operators on the battlefield itself. They undergo combat training alongside technological training.
Spokesman Col. (Res.) Shaul Shachar
Col. (Res.) Shaul Shachar, who was the unit’s commander in the past and worked in the field of UAVs in the aerospace industry, says that technological advances and lowering the costs of satellites and gliders have created a new intelligence profession that aims to effectively analyze visual information and access it in real time. Col. (Res.) Shachar said that young people have a built-in advantage in these professions in the army.
In addition, Shahar said that technological sophistication reduces the need for the required manpower. This is a significant statement, against the background of the IDF’s struggle to retain high-quality officers. Shahar added that even those who left the army and moved to high-tech, come to the reserve and bridge the gaps.
March 10, 2022 Published by The Globes.