(USNewsMag.com) – Presidential candidate and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis put President Joe Biden on blast this week for prioritizing efforts to send humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza over rescuing the nearly 200 hostages taken by Hamas into the area after the group’s surprise attack on Israel earlier this month.
DeSantis posted the cutting remarks on Twitter, where he accused the president of being “more focused on sending” aid to Palestinians in Gaza than saving the hostages held “by Hamas terrorists,” aid which DeSantis said will only “be commandeered” by the radical Islamic organization in charge of Gaza. The Florida governor called on the president to “work with Israel” toward freeing the “American and Israeli hostages rather than “shower Hamas with money.”
DeSantis said that if he were president, not “a single dollar” would go to Gaza. Others have criticized Biden for the same reason as DeSantis, believing that lifting the blockade would put the hostages at risk.
One such critic is Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee. Blackburn said the US shouldn’t place “conditions” on supporting Israel based on “demands from the ‘Squad,’” referencing members of the Democratic Progressive Caucus such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has continued to urge the president to open a corridor for humanitarian aid to Palestinian civilians. Like DeSantis, Blackburn said that Hamas “repeatedly” gets a hold of any aid money sent into Gaza and uses it “to build rockets” and “kill more Israelis.”
The day after DeSantis’s remarks, Biden visited Israel for the first time since the attack by Hamas on October 7 that left over 1,300 dead and sparked the current surge in violence. Biden showed up in the midst of Israel’s military response, which has so far displaced over 1 million Palestinians, and promised to send a $100 million humanitarian aid package to Palestinians in Gaza.
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