Sen. Coons Admits Netanyahu Divides Palestinians By ‘Weakening PA and Accepting Hamas’

by | Jan 23, 2024

Sen. Coons Admits Netanyahu Divides Palestinians By ‘Weakening PA and Accepting Hamas’

by | Jan 23, 2024

chris coons, official portrait, 112th congress

Sen. Chris Coons

Democratic Sen. Chris Coons explained on CNN that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has long worked against a Palestinian state by weakening the Palestinian Authority and accepting Hamas. During Netanyahu’s decades-long rule in Israel, Tel Aviv has used the division between Hamas and the PA to argue Israel has “no partner for peace” or negotiations.

On CNN’s “State of the Union,” host Dana Bash asked Coons if Netanyahu was an obstacle to peace and ending the war in Gaza. “[Netanyahu] has a record of dividing the PA in the West Bank and weakening it, and umm, accepting the leadership of Hamas,” the Senator explained.

That Tel Aviv has deliberately undermined the two-state solution and aided Hamas while degrading the PA is confirmed in statements made by Netanyahu himself and other top Israeli officials. However, in US politics, that truth is rarely discussed. 

“Anyone who wants to thwart the establishment of a Palestinian state has to support bolstering Hamas and transferring money to Hamas…” Netanyahu said in an address to members of his Likud party in the Knesset. “This is part of our strategy – to isolate the Palestinians in Gaza from the Palestinians in the West Bank… It’s impossible to reach an agreement with them … Everyone knows this, but we control the height of the flames.”

In 2018, Netanyahu allowed the flow of millions of dollars in cash to Hamas to ensure the group remained in control of Gaza. “The photos of $15 million in cash from Qatar entering the Gaza Strip in suitcases cast a ridiculous light on his repeated claims of being tough on Hamas,” Haaretz reports, “In reality, Netanyahu is conducting indirect negotiations with Hamas (though he and his government religiously refuse to confirm this). The Qatari cash, which will help preserve Hamas’ hold on Gaza, could not have entered without his approval.” From 2012-2018, with the approval of Tel Aviv, Doha provided more than $1 billion to Hamas amounting to hundreds of millions per year.

Netanyahu is now waging a brutal war in Gaza, claiming the elimination Hamas is his goal. The Israeli military operations in Gaza have killed at least 25,000 people, including more than 16,000 women and children. Tel Aviv has severely restricted aid to the Strip, creating a humanitarian crisis that is now threatening the lives of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. 

Biden has made several requests of Netanyahu, including reducing civilian casualties and working towards the creation of a Palestinian state. While the Israeli leader has publicly defied the White House’s appeals, the American President has refused to provide any conditions on the billions in military aid Washington provides to Tel Aviv annually.

About Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone is news editor of the Libertarian Institute, opinion editor of and co-host of Conflicts of Interest with Will Porter and Connor Freeman.

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