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Saturday, January 02, 2010

Gaza's $2 billion a year budget

From AP:
Gaza's Hamas parliament approved a government budget of $540 million for 2010, legislators said Saturday, suggesting that a tight border blockade isn't stopping the cash flow to the Islamic militants.

Up to $60 million stems from local taxes and the rest from "gifts and outside assistance," said legislator Jamal Nassar. Iran is believed to be one of Hamas' main financial backers, with cash assistance hauled through smuggling tunnels under Gaza's border with Egypt.

...The Abbas government's budget for 2009 was $2.78 billion, funded in large part by foreign aid. Abbas' Palestinian Authority continues to pay the salaries for tens of thousands of Gaza civil servants and security officers who were sent home after the Hamas takeover. It also pays for fuel to run Gaza's power plant and supports hospitals and schools.

The Hamas government is also relieved of much responsibility because the United Nations runs dozens of schools, health clinics and gives food aid to around 1 million Gazans.
So Hamas has a budget of over a half billion dollars, mostly from Iran.

But we already know from numerous statements by Mahmoud Abbas that 58% of the PA budget goes to...Gaza.

That means that poor, impoverished Gaza is getting over $2 billion annually, not counting the money and other aid it gets from UNRWA and other NGOs.

And Hamas' hundreds of millions are free for buying weapons because they have never taken financial responsibility for the actual running of Gaza's infrastructure. The West still does that via the PA.

I wonder if those people who claim they hate Israel because it is a drain on their tax dollars are equally concerned with Gaza?