ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 149

search

EU set to sanction 6 tied to Hamas funding; Borrell: Israel boosted the group

EU foreign policy chief says Netanyahu strengthened Hamas to weaken the PA; Moscow hosts delegation from terror group, speaks of need to free hostages

European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell attends a debate on the humanitarian situation in Gaza, at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France on November 22, 2023. (Frederick Florin/AFP)
File: European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell attends a debate on the humanitarian situation in Gaza, at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France on November 22, 2023. (Frederick Florin/AFP)

The European Union has adopted a dedicated sanctions regime targeting Palestinian terror group Hamas, a high-ranking EU official said Friday, adding that the first measures would target six people involved in the financing of Hamas.

“What we are doing now — it has been done today and I think it will be announced in the coming hours — [is that] we have adopted a dedicated regime for Hamas. We have listed six people,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The official added the six people were all from Arab or African countries and were all involved in financing Hamas, which has become the subject of Western reprisal after its assault on Israel in October.

At the same time, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said that Israel had financed Hamas “in an attempt to weaken the Palestinian Authority led by Fatah,”

Netanyahu is widely reported to have said on several occasions over the years that he sought to boost Hamas in order to fuel the schism within Palestinian society and alleviate international pressure for a Palestinian state.

Netanyahu has denied any such efforts.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu heads the weekly cabinet meeting at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv on January 7, 2024. (Ronen Zvulun/Pool/AFP)

“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 at the University of Valladolid in Spain, without elaborating.

Borrell added the only peaceful solution included the creation of a Palestinian state. And he suggested that this may need to be “imposed from the outside.”

Hamas carried out a surprise attack on southern Israel from Gaza on October 7, killing some 1,200 people and seizing around 240 hostages in the deadliest day in Israel’s history.

The Israeli government launched a counteroffensive in a bid to end Hamas’s rule over Gaza and release the hostages. The Gaza health ministry, run by Hamas, says the death toll in the Strip has passed 24,000 people, though figures from the terror group cannot be independently verified, and are believed to include both civilians and Hamas members killed in Gaza, including as a consequence of the terror groups’ own rocket misfires. The IDF says it has killed over 9,000 operatives in Gaza, in addition to some 1,000 terrorists inside Israel on October 7.

A picture taken from a position in southern Israel along the border with the Gaza Strip on January 19, 2024, shows an Israeli tank rolling along the fence as damaged buildings are seen in the Gaza Strip amid continuing battles between Israel and Hamas. (Jack Guez/AFP)

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

Russia on Friday hosted a delegation of Hamas members, Moscow’s foreign ministry said in a statement

During the talks, the Russian side emphasized the need to release hostages, it added.

The Hamas delegation was led by senior official Moussa Abu Marzouk and the Russian team was led by deputy foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov.

Moscow also said the humanitarian situation in Gaza had reached “catastrophic” levels.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said after a phone call with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he’d urged him to “drastically” reduce the level of violence against Palestinians amid the war with Hamas and to immediately pause fighting to let more aid into the war-battered enclave.

“Israel needs to let in much more relief goods, much quicker,” Rutte said. “We have talked about concrete measures to do so.”

read more:
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed
image
Register for free
and continue reading
Registering also lets you comment on articles and helps us improve your experience. It takes just a few seconds.
Already registered? Enter your email to sign in.
Please use the following structure: example@domain.com
Or Continue with
By registering you agree to the terms and conditions. Once registered, you’ll receive our Daily Edition email for free.
Register to continue
Or Continue with
Log in to continue
Sign in or Register
Or Continue with
check your email
Check your email
We sent an email to you at .
It has a link that will sign you in.