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Israel facilitated the development of Hamas, claims EU’s Borrell

February 27, 2024 at 8:30 am

EU High Representative and Vice President of the Commission, Josep Borrell, during a Next Educacion Forum, in Madrid, Spain on 26 February, 2024 [Mateo Lanzuela/Europa Press via Getty Images]

EU Foreign Affairs chief Josep Borrell said on Monday that Israel facilitated the development of Hamas through its policies in the 1980s. He criticised Israel in a speech at a forum organised at a university in Madrid.

“I do not say that [Israel] financed [Hamas] by sending a cheque,” explained Borrell, “but it enabled the development of Hamas” as a rival to leading Palestinian party Fatah. He repeated his claim, made in recent weeks, that “Israel created and financed Hamas.”

It is an “unquestionable reality”, the EU official added, that Israel has bet on dividing the Palestinians, creating a force to oppose Fatah. He said that he was referring to a well-known statement by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he made publicly before his parliamentary bloc, where he said that everyone who opposes the two-state solution must facilitate the financing of Hamas.

Borrell reiterated his support for the two-state solution under which the Palestinian state would be recognised, and criticised Israel because it opposes this solution but has not proposed any alternative. He noted that everyone seems to agree on the two-state solution, except for the Netanyahu government, which has been preventing the implementation of this solution for 30 years.

Describing the Israeli military response in Gaza as “disproportionate” because it is causing an excessive number of civilian casualties, Borrell insisted that his statement is not “anti-Jewish”.

Israel has been waging a devastating genocidal war on the Gaza Strip since October. It has killed and wounded more than 100,000 Palestinians, most of them children and women, and created an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe and extensive destruction of civilian infrastructure, leading the occupation state to face the International Court of Justice on genocide charges.

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