Israeli leader defends money transfer to Gaza
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s prime minister is rebuffing criticism of the transfer of $15 million from Qatar to Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers, saying it is “the right step” at the moment.
Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters he was committed to restoring quiet along the Israel-Gaza frontier and preventing a humanitarian crisis in the coastal Palestinian territory. Shortly before departing to Paris early Sunday he said he had allowed the transfer to go forward in coordination with Israeli security officials.
Netanyahu called it a “question of alternatives,” saying “every action, without exception, has a price.”
Israel and Egypt have blockaded Gaza since Hamas seized power there in 2007. Israeli critics of the transfer say it will benefit Hamas, with some dismissing it as extortion by the militant group, which is sworn to Israel’s destruction.