Israeli politicians lash out at Netanyahu as Hamas refuses Qatari grant

The Israeli Security Cabinet approved the transfer of the money two days after halting it because of violence along the Israel-Gaza border.

January 24, 2019 17:49
2 minute read.
Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends an annual state memorial ceremony for Israel's first prime minister, David Ben Gurion, at his gravesite in Sde Boker, Israel November 14, 2018. (photo credit: RONEN ZVULUN/REUTERS)


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“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu humiliates our national honor,” Labor Party chairman Avi Gabbay said on Thursday, lashing out at Netanyahu on Twitter following an announcement that Hamas has refused to accept Qatar’s $15-million grant to the Gaza Strip because of Israeli “political blackmail.”

Khalil al-Haya, a senior Hamas official, said on Thursday that Hamas has notified Qatari envoy Mohammed Al-Emadi of its refusal to accept the third tranche of the Qatari money. Al-Emadi arrived in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday night for talks with Hamas leaders on ways to resolve the crisis surrounding the delivery of the payment of the grant.

The Israeli Security Cabinet approved the transfer of the money two days after freezing it because of violence along the Israel-Gaza border.

“Netanyahu tried to bribe Hamas with $15 million, but even the terrorists are unwilling to accept his suitcases,” Gabbay tweeted.

MK Haim Jelin (Yesh Atid) called on the cabinet to step down. He said that the Security Cabinet has been politicized, and continues to issue announcements as if they come with the backing of the defense establishment when, in fact, they are making decisions in a vacuum.
“Dear cabinet, you lost it,” said Jelin. “It’s time to go home. You failed.”

Tzipi Livni, head of the Hatnuah Party, said, “Netanyahu has gotten us into a dangerous deal with Hamas,” and now Hamas is holding the country hostage.

“It is embarrassing and dangerous for the residents of the periphery and for all of Israel,” said Livni. “Let our enemies watch and learn – Hatnuah will bring about a new security policy – one against Hamas.”

MK Oded Forer of Yisrael Beiteinu appealed to the PM and member of the Security Cabinet not to surrender. He demanded an increase in retaliations against the terrorist organization.

He asked that the government stop the flow of cash to Hamas, and establish the end of violence along the Gaza fence and in Judea and Samaria as a precondition for any further transfer of funds. He also said the government should demand the humanitarian release of the remains of two IDF soldiers Hamas captured during the 2014 Gaza war.

Forer said that the government should immediately implement the Stern Law that requires that it deduct from any payments the amount spent to incentivize and reward terrorists from the taxes Israel collects and transfers to the Palestinian Authority. And he asked that diplomatic activities carried out by government emissaries in Washington advance the implementation of the Taylor Force Act that ends some US aid to the PA as long as payment of stipends to terrorists continues.

“Terrorism is a strategic threat to peace and the future of the State of Israel,” said Forer, spitting back at the prime minister a line Netanyahu himself has said. “The point of departure for the struggle against terrorism is the total refusal to surrender to its demands.”

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