Israel security bill includes relief aid 4 times the size of Gaza's GDP: 'We are funding Hamas'

The Israel bill allocates $26.4 billion in aid to the region, including more than $9.1 billion marked for 'humanitarian assistance'. Local journalists says an "armed militia of Hamas" regularly seizes that aid.

Published: April 26, 2024 11:08pm

The House of Representatives Israel aid bill is under scrutiny for including more than $9 billion in humanitarian assistance, which is significantly more than the annual gross domestic product of the Gaza Strip, as critics say the U.S. is essentially funding Hamas through the bill.

The Israel bill, which passed in a 366-58 vote Saturday, allocates $26.4 billion in aid to the region, including more than $9.1 billion marked as "Migration and Refugee Assistance" and "International Disaster Assistance," to address the humanitarian needs that arose in the Gaza Strip following the Oct. 7, 2023, attack on Israel.

The aid is more than four times the amount of the annual GDP in the Gaza Strip, which was about $2 billion last year, according to the United Nations. However, the damage done to the infrastructure in Gaza since Oct. 7 is about $18.5 billion, according to a joint World Bank and the United Nations report earlier this month.

While the Israel funding bill calls for the Secretary of State to establish oversight measures to ensure that the aid is not diverted by Hamas, a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist group, the fact that Hamas is the elected government of the Gaza Strip poses a significant challenge to oversight. 

"Biden and this administration knows that almost all of it is stolen by Hamas," Zionist Organization of America President Morton Klein told Just the News about funding given to Gaza. 

"We are funding Hamas. Do you realize the nightmare of this? We are funding Hamas with this 9 billion. What is wrong with this administration?" Klein also said. Even some Palestinian activists have voiced similar concerns. 

Ramzi Awda, the secretary-general of the International Campaign to Combat the Occupation and Apartheid, said during a Palestinian television interview that Hamas has been stealing aid to resell it. 

The aid trucks enter Gaza after being checked by the Israelis and an "armed militia of Hamas" seizes the aid, Awda said earlier this month on Al-Awda TV, a network associated with the Fatah Party that rules the West Bank, according to The Middle East Media Research Institute.

"Most of the aid is being stolen – over 60% or 70% of the aid goes to the warehouses of some movements, some factions, some tribes," Awda said. He also said that Hamas owns the warehouse and "re-sell the products to the people at exorbitant prices."

Klein also said that not only is Congress giving money to Hamas, but the Biden administration is "funding the biggest funder of terrorism of Islamic terrorism in the world" by waiving sanctions on Iran, a major funder of Hamas, and allowing the country to generate money through oil sales.

For example, earlier this month, the White House defended sanctions waivers for Iran that allowed the Islamic Republic to access $10 billion in funding, per the Foundation for Defense of Democracies

"This administration should be ashamed of themselves for funding Hamas and the biggest funder of terrorism in the world, Iran. It's just mind-boggling," Klein said.

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