Palestinian officials expect to start receiving a major new injection of aid from Saudi Arabia to ease a year-old embargo imposed by Israel and Western powers, Finance Minister Salam Fayyad said on Tuesday.This is not a one-time deal. From The Jerusalem Post:
A package of $250 million of Saudi money -- equivalent to some six weeks of the Palestinian Authority's basic funding needs -- will start arriving soon, Fayyad told Reuters as he lamented delay in resolving technical snags to other aid flows and Israel's refusal to hand over Palestinian taxes it collects.
...While the Western powers and Israel still refuse to help Hamas as long as it does not renounce violence or recognise Israel, Fayyad won a pledge from the United States to help ease technical difficulties for those donors still making payments.
A key element of this was an assurance from Washington to banks that they would not be penalised for making transfers to an account run by the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, run by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah.
The Palestinians want to establish a new fund that would allow donor countries to send them aid while formally maintaining their boycott of the Palestinian unity government, a senior official said Wednesday.This is great for Finance Minister Fayyad, and there will indeed be a bit more accountability for the funds rather than the suitcases full of cash that characterized 2006.
Under the arrangement, foreign aid could be sent to the PLO, in which Hamas is not represented. The Palestinian government, a coalition of Hamas and the Fatah movement of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, could then draw money from the PLO account.
What is Hamas' take on this? Well, Haniyeh is just tickled pink, as he addressed a bunch of EUdiot parliamentarians who met with him to give Hamas a bit more legitimacy in the world's eyes:
Haniyeh stressed to the delegation the need for the world to deal with the Palestinian national unity government as the representative of the Palestinian people. He also emphasized that aid and support should come direct to the Palestinian ministry of finance.So instead of upsetting Hamas, Hamas seems very happy that the money is going to the Finance Minister via the PLO. At the very least, it reduces pressure on his government to actually act, you know, responsibly. And it is entirely possible that Hamas' "military wing" is being paid directly from this same fund.
However, there is another wrinkle in sending all this money to the PLO:
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal agreed on a scheduled mechanism to reactivate the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), a Hamas official said on Sunday.And Hamas will not just join the PLO as an ordinary group member, but rather as the senior partner:
Abbas and Mashaal, who met in Cairo on Friday evening, "agreed to rebuild and rehabilitate the PLO," Yehia Mussa, a Hamas lawmaker, told reporters in Gaza.
Mussa denied press reports that the ruling Hamas has given its final acceptance to join the PLO. However, he confirmed that Hamas will enter the PLO as soon as it is reformed.
Hamas is threatening to withdraw from the national unity government if it does not secure appropriate representation in the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), Fatah spokesman Jamal Nazzal has claimed.
In a press statement, Nazzal said the Hamas delegation to the Damascus and Cairo dialogues "hinted that they will not continue in the government, as the Mecca deal reads, if their share is not the largest in the PLO."
Put the puzzle pieces together and what do you have? A concerted effort by Hamas to take over the PLO - and the hundreds of millions of dollars that the US is now allowing to flow to that "moderate" organization.
And the fact that the US is allowing this loophole to exist will ensure that the PalArabs will not pay for voting for Hamas - and will not have any reason not to vote for Hamas again. The entire logic of the boycott has been turned on its head by the well-meaning "humanitarian" gestures that will ultimately lead to new weapons, new terrorism and less hope for PalArabs.