Sen. Lindsey Graham: No Ceasefire Until Israel Neutralizes Hamas

Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 04:44 PM

By Wanda Carruthers

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The United States should not push Israel into a ceasefire in its ground invasion in Gaza until Israeli forces have been able to "neutralize" the threats posed by Hamas, said Sen. Lindsey Graham.

The United States should be "isolating Hamas," rather than "bailing them out" with additional funding, Graham told Fox News' "Happening Now." He called for no ceasefire "until Hamas is removed as the governing entity in Gaza."

"I would not be pushing Israel to stop their ground invasion until they neutralize the threats they face from the rocket sites and the tunnels," the South Carolina Republican said Thursday.

Story continues below video.

The driving force of the "agenda" of Hamas, Graham said, is to "destroy the state of Israel." He said past ceasefires have only served as a way for Hamas to strengthen its resources.

"We've had ceasefires in the last four years that result in the same outcome. Hamas rearms," he said.

The message the United States should send to Israel is to "stay as long as you need to stay, go wherever you need to go," Graham said.

While Congress "has Israel's back," he said the administration of President Barack Obama is "throwing Israel overboard."

Graham said he would advise Secretary of State John Kerry against a ceasefire "where Hamas can continue their terrorist activity," but to focus instead "on isolating Hamas."

Over 700 Palestinians have died since the conflict began on July 17, and Graham put the blame for that squarely on the actions of Hamas.

"The reason so many Palestinians have been killed is because Hamas sets up conditions to have them killed, by putting military equipment by schools and hospitals in populated areas, trying to get their civilians killed for political purposes," he said.

Regarding the crisis along the southern U.S. border where thousands of illegal immigrants have passed into the country, Graham said Congress shouldn't approve "one dime until we address the underlying problem."

He said the 2008 law preventing deportations should be changed.

"I will not support any funding until we change the 2008 law to allow expedited deportations," he said. "It'd be throwing good money after bad."

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