(Israel Hayom via JNS) Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said on Monday, July 27, that the terror organization had turned down a large U.S. aid package because it would have had to disarm to receive the funds. Speaking with a Qatari news outlet, Haniyeh claimed that as part of President Trump’s Middle East peace plan, Washington offered to give Hamas $15 billion in aid if it would agree to lay down its weapons. Hamas “categorically declined” the offer, said Haniyeh. Hamas, designated as a terrorist group by the European Union, the United States, Israel and several other countries, has consistently asserted that it will never give up its arsenal of weapons, rockets and missiles.
The terror group ousted Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah-led government from the Gaza Strip in a military coup in 2007, effectively splitting the Palestinians into two political entities. Efforts to promote a reconciliation between the rival Palestinian factions – the latest by Egypt – have failed. Haniyeh further claimed that plans to build air and sea ports in Gaza were foiled by the Palestinian Authority and several Arab countries.
Main Photo: Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh (right) speaks to the press in the southern Gaza Strip on Sept. 19, 2017. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90.