Former US President Bill Clinton has said “I killed myself to give the Palestinians a state,” in defence of his record as Middle East peacemaker during his time at the White House.
In a heated exchange with an audience member, who yelled out “What about Gaza?” during a campaigning event for his wife Hillary on Friday, he said: “I killed myself to give the Palestinians a state. I had a deal they turned down that would have given them all of Gaza, 96 to 97 percent of the West Bank, compensating land in Israel. You name it.”
In defence of his wife’s track-record in dealing with Israel and the Palestinians, particularly her role in agreeing a 2012 ceasefire, he added: “She and the Muslim Brotherhood president of Egypt stopped the shooting war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza,” he said.
The former president also launched a scathing attack on Hamas’ tactics in the Gaza Strip, saying: “Hamas is really smart. When they decide to rocket Israel, they insinuate themselves in the hospitals, in the schools, in the highly populous areas, and they are smart. They try to put the Israelis in a position of either not defending themselves or killing innocents. They’re good at it. They’re smart. They’ve been doing this a long time.
“There’s nobody who’s blameless in the Middle East, but we cannot really ever make a fundamental difference in the Middle East unless the Israelis think we care whether they live or die. If they do, we have a chance to keep pushing for peace. That’s [Hillary Clinton’s] position. Not to agree with the Israeli government on everything. Not to pretend that innocents don’t die. Not to pretend that more Palestinian children don’t die than Israeli children. But that we can’t get anything done unless they believe, when the chips are down, if somebody comes for them we will not let them be wiped out and become part of the dustbin of history.”