During a visit to Israel, President Joe Biden pledged $100 million in humanitarian assistance for Gaza and the West Bank. A message from the @POTUS X account assured that safeguards would be implemented to ensure the aid benefits the intended recipients and doesn’t get diverted to groups like Hamas.
However, several Republican figures voiced concerns over the potential misuse of this aid:
Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida, currently in the GOP presidential primary race, stated on Twitter: “Aid to the Gaza Strip is what Biden is prioritizing today? This aid will, of course, be commandeered by Hamas. No taxpayer dollars should be sent to Gaza. Stop funding jihad!”
Senator Rick Scott (R-Fl.) expressed that no money should go anywhere until all hostages, including Americans, have been released.
Scott has consistently expressed strong views regarding the conflict between Israel and Hamas. Recently, he called on Biden to rally the G7 nations to impose sanctions on Iran, alleging its involvement in orchestrating specific terror attacks against Israel.
In early October, Scott highlighted his proposed “Top Taxpayer Funding of Hamas Act,” encouraging national legislators to adopt it during their upcoming sessions.
The proposed legislation prohibits taxpayer money from being used in “the territory of Gaza.” According to Scott’s office, this restriction will remain in place until the president can assure a committee that the allocated funds won’t aid any individuals or groups affiliated with Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, or any other recognized terrorist entity. The bill further aims to prevent funds from assisting entities under the sway or influence of such groups.
Governor Ron DeSantis also disapproved of the $100 million aid, labeling it a “gift to the Gaza Strip.”
Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee opined on X, “Biden announced $100 million in humanitarian aid to the Palestinians. He might have announced $100 million in aid to Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.”
On the other hand, some Democrats backed the president’s initiative:
Democratic Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois said, “I applaud and support President Biden’s decision to provide significant humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank. Any legitimate response to the Hamas violence must strive to avoid civilian harm and civilian targets.”
Earlier this month, Hamas launched aggressive actions against Israel, resulting in grave human rights violations. Reports from the Associated Press highlighted militants in Gaza firing rockets at various cities in Israel, while Israel responded with airstrikes on the Gaza Strip. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared the nation’s intent to decisively counter Hamas.