Summary by JW WIlliams
According to an article published by UPI in 2002, several US intelligence officials said that Tel Aviv gave direct and indirect financial aid to Hamas over a period of years, beginning in the late 1970s. A former CIA agent said that Israel’s support for Hamas “was a direct attempt to divide and dilute support for a strong, secular PLO by using a competing religious alternative.” Hamas evolved from cells of the Muslim Brotherhood that began in Egypt in 1928.
Israel and Hamas were locked in deadly combat at the same time Israel funded Hamas. Some Israelis want all of Israel instead of peace or a 2-state solution and supported Hamas because if it gained control, it would refuse to have any part of the peace process and would torpedo any agreements put in place.
In 2009, Ron Paul said that the US, both directly and indirectly, through Israel, helped establish Hamas. The Palestinians elected Hamas and it became dominant, and then the US sought to kill them. Paul showed how the US had a pattern of supporting a opposition groups and when it fails, there is blowback.
For years, the various governments led by Benjamin Netanyahu took an approach that divided power between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, crushing Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas while boosting Hamas, with the goal of preventing the government of the West Bank from advancing toward the establishment of a Palestinian state. Israel propped up Hamas by allowing it to receive infusions of cash from abroad. Israel has allowed suitcases holding millions in Qatari cash to enter Gaza through its crossings since 2018 to maintain its fragile ceasefire with the Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip, while also maintaining a separation between Gaza and the West Bank to prevent a Palestinian state.
Hamas was also included in discussions about increasing the number of work permits Israel granted to Gazan laborers, which kept money flowing into Gaza. Toward the end of Netanyahu’s fifth government in 2021, approximately 2,000-3,000 work permits were issued to Gazans. Since Netanyahu returned to power in January 2023, the number of work permits has soared to nearly 20,000.