A bombshell report in the Times of Israel delivered the stunning news that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu helped fund Hamas – the group dedicated to destroying his nation – in order to divide the Palestinian movement so there would never be a peaceful two-state solution.
Hamas terrorists stormed into Israel on October 7 and murdered more than 1,300 Israelis, the vast majority of them civilians. They also kidnapped at least 155 people — a number that includes babies and the elderly — and are holding them hostage in Gaza.
The US State Department says 30 Americans were killed since Hamas launched its murderous rampages across southern Israel, and 13 US citizens are missing and feared kidnapped.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas says the policies and actions of Hamas “do not represent the Palestinian people” and that the Palestine Liberation Organization is the only legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.
Abbas called for the release of “prisoners and detainees” by both sides and reiterated his claim that the displacement of Gazans would constitute a “second Nakba,” referring to the Palestinian Catastrophe, which is the permanent displacement of a majority of the Palestinian Arabs, whose society was disrupted when the British Mandate became the Jewish homeland in 1948.
The Bible describes the Jewish exodus from Egypt and depicts the kingdoms of Saul, David, and Solomon covering the territory of Judah and Israel.
In 1516, the region was conquered by the Ottoman Empire and proceeded to be ruled as a part of Ottoman Syria for the next four centuries. Following World War I the area was controlled by England, which was at the time still a colonial power.
The State of Israel was established on May 14, 1948, making it the first Jewish state in 2,000 years. The proclamation was made in Tel Aviv by David Ben-Gurion, the head of the Jewish Agency, who became Israel’s first premier.
The United States recognized the new nation on the same day. President Harry S. Truman extended de jure recognition on January 31, 1949.
The creation of Israel was met with both international opposition and support. It was seen as a potential haven for the many victims of the German persecution of Jews in Europe.
After Israel declared its independence, fighting intensified with other Arab forces joining the Palestinian Arabs in attacking the territory. On the eve of May 14, the Arabs launched an air attack on Tel Aviv, which the Israelis resisted.
Netanyahu is the longest-tenured prime minister in the country’s history, having served for a total of over 16 years, and he heads the Likud Party.
Political correspondent Tal Schneider explained that Netanyahu’s policy of treating the Hamas terror group as a partner, at the expense of Abbas and Palestinian statehood, has resulted in wounds from which it will take Israel years to heal.
“For years, the various governments led by Benjamin Netanyahu took an approach that divided power between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank — bringing Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to his knees while making moves that propped up the Hamas terror group,” said the report.
“The idea was to prevent Abbas — or anyone else in the Palestinian Authority’s West Bank government — from advancing toward the establishment of a Palestinian state,” explained Schneider. “Thus, amid this bid to impair Abbas, Hamas was upgraded from a mere terror group to an organization with which Israel held indirect negotiations via Egypt, and one that was allowed to receive infusions of cash from abroad.”
Hamas was also included in discussions about increasing the number of work permits Israel granted to Gazan laborers, which kept money flowing into Gaza, meaning food for families and the ability to purchase basic products.
Israeli officials said these permits, which allow Gazan laborers to earn higher salaries than they would in the enclave, were a powerful tool to help preserve calm.
Toward the end of Netanyahu’s fifth government in 2021, approximately 2,000-3,000 work permits were issued to Gazans. This number climbed to 5,000 and, during the Bennett-Lapid government, rose sharply to 10,000.
Since Netanyahu returned to power in January 2023, the number of work permits has soared to nearly 20,000.
Additionally, since 2014, Netanyahu-led governments have practically turned a blind eye to the incendiary balloons and rocket fire from Gaza.
Meanwhile, Israel has allowed suitcases holding millions in Qatari cash to enter Gaza through its crossings since 2018, in order to maintain its fragile ceasefire with the Hamas rulers of the Strip.
Most of the time, Israeli policy was to treat the Palestinian Authority as a burden and Hamas as an asset. Far-right MK Bezalel Smotrich, now the finance minister in the hardline government and leader of the Religious Zionism party, said so himself in 2015.
According to various reports, Netanyahu made a similar point at a Likud faction meeting in early 2019, when he was quoted as saying that those who oppose a Palestinian state should support the transfer of funds to Gaza because maintaining the separation between the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza would prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state.
While Netanyahu does not make these kinds of statements publicly or officially, his words are in line with the policy that he implemented.
“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s destructive political magic, which has kept him in power for 15 years, was bound to usher in a major tragedy. A year ago, he formed the most radical and incompetent government in Israel’s history,” said Israeli politician Shlomo Ben-Ami. “By ruling out any political process in Palestine and boldly asserting, in his government’s guidelines, that ‘the Jewish people have an exclusive and inalienable right to all parts of the Land of Israel,’ Netanyahu’s fanatical government made bloodshed inevitable.”