The flow of money illustrates the conundrum Israel and the West have faced since 2007, when Hamas wrested control of the strip from its rival, the internationally recognized Palestinian Authority: How to support Palestinian civilians in Gaza without empowering a group promoting violence against Israel. The recent Hamas attacks show how the international community has struggled to walk that line.
International aid “was designed to be humanitarian in nature, but money is fungible, and that also allows Hamas to divert money from providing for its people to support its war machine,” said Alex Zerden, a former senior U.S. Treasury national security official.
On Wednesday, President Biden announced the U.S. would send $100 million in humanitarian assistance to provide clean water, food, medical care and other essential needs to Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. In a speech in Israel, the president warned Hamas not to steal or divert the humanitarian aid that countries around the world are funneling into the region.
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