DeSantis Calls to Withhold Gaza Aid Until ‘Unconditional Surrender’ By Hamas

Governor Ron DeSantis says aid should be given to Gaza only on one condition: Hamas must totally and unconditionally surrender first.

While campaigning in Iowa over the weekend, the Florida Governor weighed in on the ongoing Israeli-Hamas War and the Biden administration’s handling of the conflict. DeSantis has opposed the White House’s plan to send $100 million in funding for aid in Gaza, saying it risks ending up in the hands of Palestinian terrorists.

“But you also had someone on CNN from the White House where the anchor said, you know, ‘How are you going to be sure this doesn’t go to Hamas?’ And they’re like, ‘Well, you know, it’s not something we can necessarily be sure of.’ And then they went, ‘Okay, so Hamas is going to get this.’ And they basically said that that’s likely to be the case.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Friday that an estimated 10 Americans are being held hostage by Hamas in the Gaza Strip after the initial October 7 attack left 32 Americans dead and a further 11 missing.

Hamas terrorists have a long history of seizing resources intended for humanitarian aid and repurposing them for military use. Israeli officials have reported that the extremist group has gone as far as to use water piping to build rudimentary rockets.

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“Hamas runs the streets there,” DeSantis told reporters.

“So, if they’re going to be doing it, a lot of that money’s going to help Hamas. So the question is, is that what you want to be doing when you have people that are being held hostage, Americans and a lot of Israelis are being held hostage? Hamas can release all these hostages now. If they released all the hostages and did an unconditional surrender to Israel, then you could have all the aid you want.”

The Florida Governor concluded, however, that for as long as Hamas controls the Gaza Strip, any aid sent to the area would likely fall into the hands of terrorists.

“But as long as Hamas is going to control that money, you know, that is not something that is in the best interest of the United States of America.”

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In his comments to reporters, DeSantis appeared to reference a CNN interview from Wednesday, where host Laura Coates interviewed Col. Cedric Leighton (Ret.) about the Biden administration’s aid plan.

“The [idea] of how to ensure that the aid is not going to be essentially taken and siphoned off by Hamas… Is it realistic to think that could actually be a condition that could be met before aid gets there?” Coates asked.

Leighton replied,

“Well, I think it’s possible, but there’s no peacekeeping mechanism, there are no troops on the ground to keep anybody away from these stores, any mechanism to prevent Hamas from going after these things. So, it’s a bit touchy, and I think there are — because there are no mechanisms of enforcement, I think it’s going to be a bit of a problem, Laura.”

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