Israel’s Defense Ministry wants Gaza aid to bypass Hamas

An Israeli defense official says aid to rebuild the conflict-battered Gaza Strip must bypass its Hamas rulers, and instead flow through an international “mechanism” to reach people directly.

Israel argues the measures are necessary to isolate the terror group.

The official — who is not authorized to speak publicly on the matter — says the aid must be managed to rehabilitate Gaza “without posing a threat to Israel.”

The official, who speaks a day before US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visits the region, says aid deliveries will have to involve the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority, which has worked with Hamas in the past to deliver donations to Gaza.

US President Joe Biden said in a statement Sunday that part of Blinken’s trip would include working on “the coordinated international effort to ensure immediate assistance reaches Gaza in a way that benefits the people there and not Hamas.”

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