By Ryan Jones
JNW HEADLINE NEWS
February 26th, 2006
After adamantly vowing to deny American funding to the Hamas terrorist organization, Washington at the weekend backtracked by saying it will not halt aid to the Palestinian Authority, but will merely attempt to redirect it to humanitarian works.
The Seattle Times quoted visiting US State Department envoy David Welch following his meeting with PA official in Ramallah:
“[Washington continues] to be devoted to the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people and we shall remain so.”
Israel immediately recognized the scheme as doomed to failure, reported Israel’s Yediot Ahronot Hebrew daily.
Senior government officials like Defense Minister Sha’ul Mofaz and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni warned that even money placed directly in the hands of PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas is likely to end up in Hamas’ pockets.
Both Mofaz and Livni were expected to raise this concern when they met with Welch later on Sunday.
But Israel’s position is likely to have litte effect on the actions of the Bush Administration, which is determined to oversee a final peace settlement, and views Abbas as its best chance to achieve that goal.
Fully aware of this, Abbas has threatened to quit if the West does not continue financing the “Palestinian cause,” asserting that financial pressure is pushing Hamas against the wall and making it impossible for him to set policy.
Quipped Abbas in an interview with Britain’s ITV-1 Friday:
“If I can’t do my job the way I see fit, I’ll resign.”