The European Union’s foreign policy chief said on Friday Israel was responsible for Hamas’ surge to power in Gaza, where it is currently fighting a war against the terror group.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said very plainly during a speech at the University of Valladolid in Spain that Israel financed Hamas in an effort to weaken the then-governing Palestinian Authority.
“Yes, Hamas was financed by the government of Israel in an attempt to weaken the Palestinian Authority led by Fatah,” Borrell said without elaborating, Reuters reported.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has previously denied such allegations. He has also decried other remarks from the EU and the United Nations as sympathetic to Hamas.
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Netanyahu’s critics have accused him of financing Hamas for years, which includes allowing foreign money into Gaza, most of which going to the governing terror group.
In his remarks on Friday, Borrell spoke to postwar scenarios, saying the only peaceful solution included the creation of a Palestinian state.
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“We only believe a two-state solution imposed from the outside would bring peace even though Israel insists on the negative,” he said.
Hamas has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007 after it defeated the Fatah led by President Mahmoud Abbas in a civil war.
Hamas-led forces launched a surprise attack on southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and taking more than 200 hostages.
Immediately after the attack, the Israeli government declared war on Hamas and later launched a ground offensive into Northern Gaza.
Reuters contributed to this report.