Israeli money may have funded Hamas attack: report

December 11, 2023

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu encouraged Qatar to send millions of dollars monthly to Gaza, which ultimately helped to prop up the Hamas government, the New York Times reported Sunday. 

According to the Times, which cited sources familiar with discussions between Qatari officials and Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency, Netanyahu recently decided to continue allowing money to enter the territory—“billions of dollars over roughly a decade”—which the newspaper called “a gamble by Netanyahu that a steady flow of money would maintain peace in Gaza…and keep Hamas focused on governing, not fighting.” 

Instead, Gaza became the launching point of Hamas’ massive October 7 terror attack on Israel, sparking the war now being waged in Gaza. 

The Times goes on to report that the payments were part of “a string of decisions” by Israeli political leaders, military officers and intelligence officials—“all based on the fundamentally flawed assessment that Hamas was neither interested in nor capable of a large-scale attack.”

For its part, Qatari officials had reportedly hoped that the money would fund humanitarian goals, like paying government salaries in Gaza and buying fuel to keep a power plant running. 

But the Times sources said Israeli intelligence officials now believe the money played a role in the October 7 terror attack—”if only,” the Times reports, “because the donations allowed Hamas to divert some of its own budget toward military operations.”

The Qatari payments have been widely known and discussed by Israeli media for years. Netanyahu’s critics have blasted them as part of a strategy of “buying quiet”—which Netanyahu has pushed back, calling such accusations “ridiculous.”

More than 1,100 Israelis have been killed in the recent fighting, most during Hamas’ October 7 attack. Since the war began more than two months ago, roughly 18,000 Palestinians have been killed, as well.

And of the initial 240 people abducted by Hamas on October 7, there are about 140 still held captive in Gaza.

PHOTO: Kibbutz Kfar Aza with Gaza City in Background, per IDF

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