Borrell accuses Israel of funding Hamas to weaken Palestine

Borrell accuses Israel of funding Hamas to weaken Palestine

The High Representative for Foreign Policy of the European Union (EU), Josep Borrell, openly accused Israel this Friday of having financed the Palestinian militia Hamas for years in order to weaken Palestine and strengthen the Israeli state. In a speech at the University of Valladolid, where he was awarded an honorary doctorate, the head of European diplomacy also stressed the need for the creation of a Palestinian state as part of a solution to the conflict, despite the prime minister's refusal. Benjamin Netanyahu. His statements came as the Twenty-Seven in Brussels gave final approval to a new sanctions regime to be imposed on those who provide economic support to Hamas, considered a terrorist organization by the EU and the United States.

Borrell's message is the strongest ever expressed by a European leader based on the hypothesis that the Israeli authorities have deployed resources to strengthen the organization that governs Gaza. “Hamas was funded by the Israeli government to weaken the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority.” [organización política fundada por el exlíder palestino Yaser Arafat en 1958, 10 años después de la independencia israelí]“explained Borrell from Valladolid.

It is not the first time that the idea that Netanyahu's government sponsored Hamas has been raised, something the Israeli prime minister denies. This has been noted at least since the outbreak of the conflict by the Israeli opposition as well as by analysts and various national and international media: The New York Times claimed in December that the Qatari government had been sending millions of dollars to the Gaza Strip for years to support the conflict According to the American newspaper, this was an action approved by Israel by the Hamas government, which “not only tolerated but encouraged” these payments until shortly before the militia's terrorist attack on October 7th. The Times of Israel has also stated that the government has “allowed suitcases containing millions of dollars in cash to enter the Gaza Strip from Qatar since 2018 in order to maintain the fragile ceasefire with the Hamas rulers in the Gaza Strip.” Borrell himself quoted this during a parliamentary debate on Gaza last December in the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg Netanyahu's statements in March 2019 before the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) in which he said: “Transfer of money to Hamas (…)” It is part of our strategy to ensure that it There will never be a Palestinian state.” However, this is the first time that the head of European diplomacy has so directly accused Israel of funding and feeding Hamas.

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In his acceptance speech for being awarded an honorary doctorate at the university where he taught as an associate professor of mathematics in 1982, Borrell also again called for the establishment of a state in Palestine, as had happened in the past in Israel. Otherwise “the spiral of the “The only solution is to create two states that share the land for which they have been dying for 100 years,” a solution that comes “from outside “must be imposed, i.e. from outside the international community. “Everyone but Israel” wants this result, he added, although he was also self-critical of the EU’s role: “It has done little and preached a lot.”

New sanctions against Hamas and Islamic Jihad

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On the same day that Borrell put forward these ideas, the European Union adopted a new legal framework to sanction those who “support, facilitate or permit violent actions by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad” and already has an initial group of six Persons appointed, all funds and economic resources that they have on European territory will be blocked and they will be prohibited from carrying out economic transactions with them.

“With this new framework of restrictive measures against those who support the violent actions of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the EU shows that we are ready to take decisive steps to respond to the brutality of the terrorists on October 7th.” said Borrell. in a statement from Brussels. “Israelis and Palestinians deserve to live in a just, secure and lasting peace,” he added.

In addition to sanctioning those who finance Hamas, the new regulation also allows for sanctions against those who supply, sell or transfer weapons and related materials to the two terrorist organizations or “support actions that undermine or threaten the stability or security of Israel.” or are involved in “serious violations of international humanitarian law, public incitement or provocation to public actions” by the two sanctioned organizations, the EU Council emphasized.

The sanctions in this first round include six individuals from Sudan, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine. With the exception of Palestinian Musa Muhammad Salim Dudin, who the EU says is a “senior Hamas operative and a member of its politburo” and the militia's “investment office,” the rest are money changers or businessmen accused of using their business networks Having put money into the Hamas Palestinian militia.

The six named individuals, who may be joined by new individuals or companies in the future, will be “denied entry into our territory,” a senior EU official said shortly before the new regulation was published in the EU's Official Journal.

The decision comes in the same week that the EU added to its terror blacklist Hamas political leader Yahia Sinwar, who, along with the militia's military chief, is considered one of the masterminds of the October 7 terror attack against Israel. , Mohamed Deif, who has been on this list since December.

In addition, this new agreement to sanction individuals or organizations that finance Hamas comes just before the EU Foreign Affairs Council, which will take place this Monday in Brussels and has a long agenda on the conflict in the Middle East. Diplomatic sources have indicated that they wanted to send a “political signal” for this meeting, which also included Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz and Palestinian Riyad al Maliki – separate meetings of Egyptian, Saudi Arabian and Jordanian diplomacy and the secretary general of the Arab League, Ahmed Aboul Gheit. Borrell will also take part in the event.

According to other European sources, the sanctions against Hamas are intended to form a “sequenced” package that also includes sanctions against violent extremist settlers in the West Bank, as Borrell has repeatedly called for. However, various diplomatic sources confirm that there is still no consensus for this step, which requires unanimity among the twenty-seven.

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