On p.10 of last Thursday’s Jerusalem Post there was a small news item that caught my attention. It was a report of the death of a Palestinian man named Baha Nababta (31) who had been a civil rights and youth group leader in the Shuafat refugee camp, northeast of Jerusalem. He was gunned down by an assassin who fired ten shots at him and escaped on a motorbike. Apparently there had been death threats against him for the supposed crime of “collaboration” with the Israeli authorities. He thought that these threats came from the local Hamas group.
What was Baha’s crime, that he contacted the Israeli authorities in order to improve the living conditions in the camp. As a result of his actions, roads in the camp were paved, an emergency medical clinic was set up in the camp and a fire-fighting team was trained by the Jerusalem City Fire and Rescue Service and he received help for his youth group. His contact in the east Jerusalem portfolio of the Jerusalem municipality was Dr.Meir Margalit, a member of the far left Meretz party. This party is known to be very pro-Palestinian and this is the kind of social actions that they are known for. Certainly there was nothing sinister, secret or political about Baha’s contacts with Margalit.
What is clear is that Hamas and other Palestinian (terrorist) organizations prefer that the Palestinians live in the worst conditions of poverty rather than improve their living conditions. They would rather have unpaved roads, no emergency medical facilities and no fire-fighting capability, rather than accept the help of a very sympathetic Israeli Jew. For his desire to improve the living conditions of his fellow Palestinians Baha paid with his life.
This is not to say that the Palestinian population would all be happy living in improved conditions with Israel. In a recent poll 68% of West Bank residents say that they support the murder of Israeli Jews by stabbings and other means. In a recent election at Bir Zeit University on the West Bank, the Hamas group were elected as the leaders of the student union there. This is considered to be an indication of general opinion on the West Bank, since Fatah which controls the West Bank is considered to be corrupt and unpopular, and if an election were held there Hamas would be expected to win. This explains why PA Pres. Abbas has not held an election since 2009.
The main problem is that the Palestinians have no motivation to change their attitude and deal with Israel. They are given billions of dollars by sympathetic donors from the EU, US and UN that hardly have any effect in improving the lives of the people (its all skimmed off), and the UNRWA organization takes care of their needs (food and education) from cradle to grave. This perpetuates the divisive situation. While this is the case, the concept of a “two-state solution” that all the West seems to favor is merely pie-in-the-sky.