Lindsey Graham
Lindsey GrahamReuters/Yuri Gripas/ABACAPRESS.COM

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said on Sunday he would not support funding for a future Palestinian state that would be run in part by either Hamas or the Palestinian Authority.

"Well, you got to remember Hamas wants to up the casualties of their own people. They're using the Palestinian people as human shields," Graham told ABC News in an interview, when asked about mounting civilian casualties in Gaza. "So, I blame the death of all these Palestinians on Hamas, but Israel is trying to mitigate casualties."

"I would not invest 15 cents in a future Palestine where Hamas is still standing," Graham, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, added.

"Their leaders need to be killed and captured, and I wouldn't invest 15 cents into the Palestinian Authority regarding a new Palestine. [Mahmoud] Abbas' Palestinian Authority is dead to me. So, when we get to the day after Israel has ceased military operations because Hamas has been destroyed, the new Palestine cannot have Hamas, and it cannot be governed by the PA," he stated.

It is still unclear what Israel's plan is for the Gaza Strip after its military operations against Hamas end. The Biden administration has pushed for the PA to take over the leadership of the Strip, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has refused, noting that Abbas has failed to condemn the Hamas massacre of October 7 and has continued to pay salaries to families of terrorists.

Israel completely withdrew from Gaza, expelling nearly 10,000 Jewish citizens, in 2005. Hamas won the parliamentary elections in Gaza in 2006 and then seized power in a violent revolt against the PA and has ruled Gaza ever since.

The PA continues to rule in its assigned area of Judea and Samaria thanks to Israeli and foreign support. Mahmoud Abbas is very unpopular due to widespread corruption in the PA. Abbas' term as PA chairman was meant to expire in 2009, but he has remained in office in the absence of elections.