Benjamin Netanyahu, former Israeli Prime Minister, is under scrutiny for his past policies that allegedly strengthened Hamas, the Islamist militant group. Critics argue that Netanyahu’s strategy to bolster Hamas was a calculated move to maintain the divide between the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza. This division, they claim, was intended to stifle diplomatic progress and prevent negotiations over the partition of Israel into two states.
Netanyahu’s tenure, which began in 2009, saw the transformation of Hamas from a minor terrorist organization into a formidable military force. This was largely due to the Israeli government’s approval of a billion-dollar fund transfer from Qatar to Gaza between 2012 and 2018. At least half of this sum reportedly reached Hamas, including its military wing.
Netanyahu’s strategy was to use Hamas as a tool to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, according to statements from his associates and documented in a Hebrew-language book by former cabinet member Haim Ramon. This policy, critics argue, has resulted in the loss of over a thousand Israeli lives.
The aftermath of this policy is now being felt, with Hamas launching a deadly assault on Israeli communities near the Gaza border. Critics are calling for an investigation into Netanyahu’s long-term policy of strengthening Hamas, which they believe has led to the current crisis.
Read more at Haaretz.