Hamas Stole Major Shipment Of Aid, State Department Says


Ilan Hulkower Contributor
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The American State Department accused Hamas of stealing a major shipment of humanitarian aid sent to Gaza from the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, The Times of Israel reported Thursday.

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken personally viewed aid on Tuesday before it departed from Jordan and its passage through the newly reopened Erez crossing to the northern Gaza Strip, the outlet noted.

The aid was “picked up by a humanitarian implementer for distribution inside Gaza, and that aid was intercepted and diverted by Hamas on the ground in Gaza,” according to Matthew Miller, a spokesman for the State Department, The Times of Israel reported. “The UN is either in the process or has by now recovered that aid, but it was an unacceptable act by Hamas to divert this aid to begin with,” Miller added.

Miller mentioned that Hamas was risking “jeopardiz[ing] the shipment of aid” by its action and claimed that this act marked the “first widespread case of diversion that we have seen,” The Times of Israel reported.

Israel has long maintained that Hamas has been stockpiling the aid to prevent their delivery to civilians, according to the outlet. An American diplomat denied this contention back in Feb. by saying that no “specific evidence” was presented to him or the Biden administration, the outlet reported.

The Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), an arm of the Israeli government responsible for aid coordination to the Gaza Strip, tweeted that 30 truckloads of aid passed the newly opened crossing Wednesday and that 76 aid trucks were sent by “[t]he Jordanian route.” (RELATED: ‘Would Be Unacceptable’: Blinken And Netanyahu Meeting Hits Crossroads As Israeli Invasion Of Rafah Looms)

The Israeli agency tweeted a video of trucks passing what was previously a civilian crossing until its recent construction allowed humanitarian aid to pass through.

The United States has been involved in other humanitarian projects to Gaza such as building a pier to deliver aid. The Pentagon said Thursday the construction of this pier was over 50 percent complete, The Times of Israel reported.