EU’s Borrell says Israel financed Hamas to undermine Palestinian Authority

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Friday that Israel had financed the creation of Palestinian militant group Hamas, publicly contradicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who has denied such allegations.

Opponents of the Israeli government and some global media have accused Netanyahu governments of boosting Gaza rulers Hamas for years, including by allowing Qatari financing of Gaza.

“Yes, Hamas was financed by the government of Israel in an attempt to weaken the Palestinian Authority led by Fatah,” Borrell said in a speech in the University of Valladolid in Spain without elaborating.

Borrell added the only peaceful solution included the creation of a Palestinian state.

“We only believe a two-state solution imposed from the outside would bring peace even though Israel insists on the negative,” he said.

Hamas carried out a surprise attack on southern Israel from Gaza on Oct. 7, killing 1,400 people and seizing around 240 hostages in the deadliest day in Israel’s history.

The Israeli government launched a counteroffensive in which more than 24,700 Palestinians have since been killed, according to the Gaza health ministry.

Hamas has run the Gaza Strip since 2007 after a brief civil war with forces loyal to the Fatah movement led by President Mahmoud Abbas, who is based in the West Bank and also heads the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Israel has criticized different countries, including Borrell’s native Spain, for what it says is showing sympathy for Hamas.

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