Josep Borrell’s statement risks causing noise in Israel. The head of European diplomacy accused, Friday January 19, the Jewish state of having “created” and “financed” the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, currently in power in Gaza and at the origin of the unprecedented deadly attack of October 7 on Israeli soil.

Speaking at the University of Valladolid (Spain), which awarded him an honorary doctorate, the high representative of the European Union for foreign affairs pleaded for the creation of a Palestinian state, which the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

“We believe that a two-state solution [Israeli and Palestinian] must be imposed from the outside to bring peace. Even if, and I insist, Israel reaffirms its refusal [of this solution] and, to prevent it, it went so far as to create Hamas itself,” Mr. Borrell said during a speech in Spanish . “Hamas was funded by the Israeli government to try to weaken the Fatah Palestinian Authority. But if we do not intervene firmly, the spiral of hatred and violence will continue from generation to generation, from funeral to funeral,” he added.

2007 takeover of Gaza

Hamas was created in December 1987 shortly after the start of the first Intifada, a Palestinian uprising in the occupied territories, by a group of Islamist militants claiming to be from the Muslim Brotherhood, including the influential Sheikh Ahmad Yassin. An acronym in Arabic for “Islamic Resistance Movement”, Hamas was founded in particular to defeat Islamic Jihad and compete with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), a mainly secular movement led by Yasser Arafat.

Twenty years later, in June 2007, following a quasi-civil war against Fatah, the movement at the heart of the Palestinian Authority (PA) of Mahmoud Abbas − the successor to Yasser Arafat −, Hamas took over. control of the Gaza Strip.

In recent years, the Gaza Strip, under the control of Hamas and under Israeli blockade, has received aid of several million dollars from Qatar, which has drawn criticism from Benjamin Netanyahu, accused by detractors of having favored funding of this movement, which he denies.

Netanyahu and the United States at odds

The Israeli Prime Minister has once again rejected, in recent days, the idea of ​​creating a viable Palestinian state, thus attracting criticism from his American ally who says he is pleading for a State of Palestine alongside Israel.

In a column published on January 15, 2024 in Le Monde, Josep Borrell had already shown his support for the creation of a Palestinian state and a “Palestinian Authority”, once the Israeli hostages were released and the war between Israel and Hamas finished.

“There are two lessons to be learned from the failure of the 1993 Oslo Accords,” which laid the foundations for a Palestinian state, he explained. “The first is that we must establish from the outset the imperative of two States as a solution to the conflict. The second is not to rely solely on Israelis and Palestinians to get along. The conditions for peace must be applied and guaranteed by the entire international community,” argued the head of European diplomacy.