Palestinian rights groups have slammed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s claim that he and Israel care more about the Palestinian people than their own leaders do.
Netanyahu made the comment on Thursday in his first response to disputed allegations that Hamas, the rulers of Gaza, illegally obtained massive amounts of aid money from the global charity, World Vision, and the United Nations.
Netanyahu said in a video posted online, “I, the prime minister of Israel, care more about Palestinians than their own leaders do.”
I, the Prime Minister of Israel, care more about Palestinians than their own leaders do. Sounds incredible, right? https://t.co/tAXe0VrBYe
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) August 11, 2016
He continued, “Hamas, the terrorist organisation that runs Gaza, stole millions of dollars from humanitarian organizations like World Vision and the United Nations.”
“Innocent and impoverished Palestinians were denied vital aid supplied from nations around the world,” he said.
Shawan Jabarin, director general for the Palestinian rights group, Al-Haq, told Al Jazeera that Netanyahu’s comments were part of a long-standing campaign to consolidate Israel’s control of financial aid to Gaza.
World Vision’s Gaza leader charged with using aid money to fund Hamas https://t.co/uo1hk3v6qI
— Christianity Today (@CTmagazine) August 5, 2016
Jabarin said that Netanyahu’s “propaganda” is part of an effort to convince the international community to cease funding humanitarian campaigns in Palestine by spreading the fear of corruption within aid organizations.
He stated, “They are trying to undermine the work of international aid organizations,” adding that Netanyahu’s aim is to persuade European foreign ministers to stop funding Palestinian organizations.
Israel has maintained a tight blockade on Gaza for a decade, restricting access of many basic goods.